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Enhanced Kellogg School alumni Web portal to invite grads to "PowerUp”

Responding to alumni requests for better online networking, Kellogg will deliver the technology in January to get the job done

By Rebecca Lindell

A preview of the new look for the Alumni Network.  

With just a few keystrokes, graduates will soon be able to take advantage of all the Kellogg School alumni network has to offer — from locating former classmates to finding new job opportunities, and much more.

The new Kellogg alumni Web site ( will put virtually all of Kellogg’s services at the fingertips of alums. Designed exclusively for use by alumni, the site will provide fast, easy access to Kellogg career services, the alumni directory, reunion information, alumni club activities and discussion groups.

The site officially launches Jan. 14.

There will even be links for alumni to request transcripts, sign up to mentor current students and purchase Kellogg School gear. Alums will also be able to obtain the latest books written by Kellogg faculty via the site.

" We’re creating a Web portal for alums that is truly alumni-centric,” says Catherine Grimsted, associate dean of finance and administration and chief operating officer. "At one glance, they will be able to find everything at Kellogg that’s applicable to them.”

The "PowerUp!” button on the Kellogg home page will link grads directly to the new site.

The portal was inspired by feedback received by Kellogg School Dean Dipak C. Jain after he assumed the school’s top leadership position in 2001. While visiting graduates around the world, Jain repeatedly heard that they desired better access to the Kellogg Alumni Network — the global support system of alumni connections, services and resources.

Jain returned home with a mission: to transform the potentially nebulous network into an online entity that alums could tap into quickly, easily and from any place in the world.

More than a year of research followed. The school surveyed Kellogg alumni and alumni clubs, advisory groups, students and others on how to improve the network and build that vibrancy into the Web site.

" We studied how people use alumni services,” says Karyn McCoy, associate director of alumni relations. "What was missing? What features would people use if they had access to them? Are we doing the right things with respect to alumni?”

The findings inspired Jain to double the size of the Kellogg School Alumni Relations staff and expand the Kellogg Information Systems (KIS) team by three positions. The moves reflect Jain’s commitment to further empowering the Kellogg alumni community.

" We’re not just building a Web site,” observes Kara Kane, KIS project manager and chief architect of the Web site. "We’re using technology to facilitate a more active alumni network.”

The changes include a new focus on alumni clubs, which have become more numerous — and more active — over the past several years. Alumni have launched new clubs in Nashville, Dallas and Austin, among other cities, while established clubs have added more events to their calendars. Some 90 clubs in all currently bring together Kellogg alumni around the globe.

The new site will serve as a portal to all these groups. Each club will have a directory and discussion group that can be accessed from the site, as well as information about the club’s events, contacts and initiatives. Alums also will be able to register and pay for club events online, as well as obtain real-time news about upcoming club activities.

" Clubs are one of the key resources for reaching out to alumni,” McCoy says. "We’ve been working with club leaders to find out what kind of support and leadership they need, what sort of events to host and how best to reach alumni.”

Alums will be able to activate their accounts at the site and receive a password instantly. Upon activation, the site’s full array of services will be made available. Graduates will be able to update their profile and contact information, manage their email with a permanent Kellogg email address, and obtain the latest news about conferences, classmates, events and learning opportunities.

And since the Kellogg School prides itself on its commitment to lifelong learning, the site will also grant alumni continuing access to the school’s intellectual capital. Through the site, alumni can view faculty publications and videos of the many business leaders who speak on campus.

" The whole redesign will reflect the fact that alumni are an integral part of Kellogg, and that they truly can have an impact on students, faculty and staff if we give them the tools to do so,” McCoy says.

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University