A Lifelong Bond:
Developing Alumni Relationships
to Last a Lifetime

Written by Dena Roché

Your coursework and dissertation are complete, the diploma is in hand and you’ve crossed the Northcentral University graduation stage with a higher degree. While your time at NCU may be over, your connection to the University can continue.

Heather Schlichting Heather Schlichting

With over 8,000 alumni from more than 70 countries, NCU is making a strong commitment to keep alumni connected with programs and awards created just for them.

“We want our graduates to have pride in NCU,” said Heather Schlichting, Manager of Alumni Relations. “NCU is growing, and we’re enhancing offerings to support the needs and interests of our alumni community. These programs add to the value of the NCU degree.”

The first new alumni initiative to launch in 2017 is the NCU Alumni of the Year (AOY) Award. This award will be given annually to honor outstanding NCU graduates who go on to impart positive, lasting change in their community or organization. Selected alumni will be recognized with awards, and the top recipient will receive a paid trip (up to $1,000) to attend the 2017 NCU graduation, where they will be presented with the AOY Award in person.

“While all our Schools have alumni programming, this is the first award offered to alumni at an institutional level,” said Dr. Patricia Henry, Dean of the Graduate School. “Creating the award is a highlight of my efforts since becoming Dean.”

2017 also marks the first year that the School of Business and Technology Management will hold an alumni and student event. While currently under development, initial plans call for sessions on job hunting, interviewing skills and managing a personal brand in the digital age.

“NCU is growing, and we’re enhancing offerings to support the needs and interests of our alumni community.”

Heather Schlichting, Manager of Alumni Relations

One top alumni benefit is access to Better Weekdays’ app, The Whether, a mobile job search service available to all NCU alumni. Using job matching technology, Better Weekdays pairs job seekers to positions that not only fit their qualifications and interests, but also offer a workplace culture that is a good fit. Alum’s personal criteria are updated each time they respond to a posting, so the more it’s used, the more tailored the results become.

These alumni programs and events offer new opportunities to the many NCU alums who were already connecting and networking socially through a robust alumni group on LinkedIn.

“We have more than 16,000 followers on LinkedIn who are sharing information, new ideas and things they’re working on,” said Schlichting. “It’s also a place where NCU posts information about the University to keep alumni updated.”

“While all our Schools have alumni programming, this is the first award offered to alumni at an institutional level.”

Dr. Patricia Henry, Dean of the Graduate School

ncu alumni

NCU alums who are active on social media can also become an NCU Ambassador. “Our ambassadors are advocates of NCU and spread the good news about the University by sharing our social posts on their own Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn sites,” said Schlichting.

For alumni who want an even more active role promoting NCU, the University is planning an Alumni Mentor Program that will roll out later this year or early in 2018.

“Interested alumni will be matched with a prospective student mentee,” said Schlichting. “Alums may also speak to current NCU students about their programs or dissertation experience and offer helpful tips and job hunting advice.”

NCU alumni are entitled to many discounts for goods and services through relationships NCU has created, which can be found on NCU’s Alumni page. Alumni can also show their pride in their alma mater with NCU-branded merchandise available at the NCU Store. The store offers new, up-to-date casual fashions, along with collegiate classics and gift items, all embellished with the NCU logo.

Another benefit of being an NCU alum is the Alumni Referral Program, which provides a 15% preferred tuition discount to NCU alums for any future certificates or degrees they pursue at NCU. Additionally their friends and family can save 10% off published tuition for any NCU degree program.

NCU’s lifeblood is its students and alumni, and with these new initiatives, NCU is creating a variety of opportunities for alums to continue their involvement long after graduation. If you’re interested in any of the new or existing alumni programs, please email for more information.