Alumni Affinity and Identity Groups
The Affinity and Identity Group program offers alumni of shared interests and common bonds opportunities to connect on meaningful levels beyond the traditional Class Reunions and regional event structure. These groups actively support the college through student recruitment, career mentoring, fundraising, community service, social activities, and more. The Affinity and Identity Group program is administered through Denison’s Office of Alumni & Family Engagement.
These groups encourage alumni to stay connected with Denison through shared interests or experiences, including student organizations, identity, and careers. An affinity and identity group program:
- Provides opportunities for alumni to get involved and meet other Denison alumni in their shared area of interest.
- Strengthens alumni volunteer engagement and leadership for the advancement of the college.
- Encourages mentorship and support of current students.
- Supports a culture of philanthropy for the college.
Current Alumni Affinity and Identity Groups at Denison
|Black Alumni Association||Alicia Henry ’05|
|Burpees Seedy Alumni||Elliott Mitchell ’84|
|Denison Singers Alumni||Rick Kauffman ’86|
|Denison Hilltoppers Alumni||Jake Mihalov ’10|
|Ice Hockey Club Alumni||Bill Eaton ’84
Marshall Durston ’81
|Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae||Amanda Meadows ’13|
|Latin American and Hispanic Alumni Association||Carlos Maciel ’14|
|Pride (LGBTQ+) Alumni||Brian Paul Allen ’17|
|Sigma Chi Alumni||Sandy Thomson ’59|
|Varsity D Association||Rich Seils ’67|
To start a new affinity or identity group or plan a reunion for an existing affinity or identity group, please contact Gary Fleisner, assistant director of Alumni & Family Engagement.
Want to learn all there is to know about how these programs work?
Click the button below to read the handbook.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is affinity?
An affinity is a meaningful common experience shared amongst generations of Denison Alumni. Examples include your major, student organization, race and/or ethnicity, athletic team, and more. Denison currently has three main types of affinity programs and associated giving opportunities:
- Athletics (e.g., Ice Hockey)
- Student organizations (e.g., Burpees, fraternities/sororities, Singers)
- Identity groups which often stem from membership in a student organization while enrolled at Denison (e.g., BAA, Pride)
Why are affinity groups important?
- Denison is all about relationships. Affinity and identity groups foster deep, durable relationships among alumni based on shared interests and experiences.
- Affinity groups offer an opportunity for alumni to work together on projects they care about, engaging fellow alumni and furthering the mission of the university in the process.
- They help colleges become smaller and more relevant, keeping interaction more personal and targeted.
- They can help with recruitment and mentoring of current students and fundraising for scholarships and other causes of interest to the group.
What are some key elements and activities of affinity groups?
- Affinity and identity groups should stem from alumni interest and be alumni initiated, a ground-up approach.
- Affinity and identity groups take part in volunteer leadership roles, events, fundraising, communications, and Reunions.
- Look for pockets of connection between student groups and alumni (examples: Black Student Union 🡺 Black Alumni Association, Outlook 🡺 Pride).
- Share stories/highlight successful programs
- Social media posts, Denison magazine, University Communications’ monthly newsletter
How does Denison support alumni affinity groups?
AFE has a menu of services it can provide to affinity groups.
- Group formation and finding members (e.g., data collection and review, contact information and names of alumni
- Communication (e.g., newsletters for groups, emails and updates about upcoming events
- Reunion/program planning
- AFE helps with marketing (e.g., website, emails, Eventbrite), logistics (e.g., room reservations, catering), and event program development (e.g., networking, socials, meals, and student panels)
- Event planning timeline development
- Provide example schedules of previous affinity reunions
- Provide name badges, small giveaway items, and staff support for the event