Resources for Regional Association Leadership Teams


Purple with Purpose

Please note: this page is intended to give specific recommendations to Regional Association leadership teams about implementation of the regional recognition program. More general information about the initiative is available here.

Selecting Recipients

Regional Association leaders and their committees will be responsible for selecting honorees from the nominees based on the criteria outlined below. The number of annual honorees should be consistent with size of alumni and parent base but discretion is reserved to the Regional Association.

The following are preliminary guidelines by size of region:

  • Large Regional Associations (over 1,000 Ephs) should aim to recognize up to 3 people a year.
  • Medium Regional Associations (250-1,000) should aim to recognize 1-2 people a year.
  • Small Regional Associations (under 250) should aim to recognize 1 person a year.

A committee of leaders from the Society of Alumni and Williams staff will select honorees from areas without an existing Regional Association.

Criteria for Selection

We seek to honor members of the Eph family whose contributions and influence are:

  •         Meaningful within the confines of a small community or on a national or international scale
  •         Professionally based or volunteer driven
  •          An extension of the values taught and learned during all aspects of the Williams undergraduate experience and reflect positively on the Williams family as a whole

While alumni will be the primary nominees and recipients, parents or other members of the Williams community are eligible for consideration.

Regional Selection Process

For Regional Associations with a board or leadership team in place, this can be an opportunity to delegate responsibilities specific to the program. It may also provide an excellent opportunity for Regional Associations to revitalize their volunteer base and solicit support specific to management of the program and process. The selection process is meant to vary between Regional Associations and we recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach; however, below are a few examples from associations around the country.

Example 1: Large Association – Boston

Boston plans to organize a subcommittee with 5-7 alumni volunteers from the Regional Association’s executive committee to review all nominations. Two members of the regional executive committee will take on a leadership role in organizing and circulating the nominations, communicating expectations, and arranging two meetings over the winter to review and discuss the nominations. Once the field of nominees has been narrowed, the subcommittee will share their recommendations with the larger regional executive committee; all members of the regional executive committee will have a say in determining the year’s honorees. This list of three potential honorees will then be shared with the college, and after consultation with the Alumni Relations Office, the honorees and those who submitted their nominations will be notified by the Boston Regional Association.

Example 2: Small Association – Cincinnati

Cincinnati will follow a similar timeline, and will seek one or two volunteers to be part of the nomination and review process each year. Instead of a formal committee structure, it is likely that these volunteers will work directly with the regional president to select honoree(s). The recommended honoree(s) and the individual(s) who submitted the nomination(s) will be notified after the regional president consults with the Alumni Relations Office.

The regional president will use the regional association listserv to promote the program and solicit nominations from Ephs in the area, with the understanding that additional nominations may come from other areas of the Williams Community and the Alumni Relations Office.

Other factors to consider:

Regardless of the size of your regional association, here are other factors to consider when determining your process for selecting honorees.

  • Communicate with the individual(s) who submitted each nomination.
    • Those who submitted a nomination can provide additional insight and information beyond what was included in their nomination statement, which may benefit the selection process. Selection committees should consider following up with these individuals by phone or by email.
    • It is important that selection committees communicate with those who submitted a nomination to let them know if their nominee has been selected to be honored in any given year.
  • Do additional research on nominees as needed
    • Regional association leaders are encouraged to do due diligence by researching the nominees to learn more about their life experiences via search results (such as Google), social media and LinkedIn profiles, features in local newspapers and publications, etc.
  • Carry forward nominees not honored
    • Nominees who are not selected can be considered eligible for recognition in future years without having to be formally nominated once again, provided they are still part of the same regional association.

Celebrating Fellow Ephs

After selection in the spring, honoree(s) should be notified and congratulated by the Regional Association. In addition, they will be recognized via the college’s social media channels and on the Purple with Purpose Tumblr with their photo and a short description honoring their work. All recipients will also receive a congratulatory letter from the college and a certificate from the regional association.

There are also a variety of programming opportunities available for the celebration of recipients. Regional Associations with an existing event in the spring such as an Annual Meeting may consider adding recognition of honorees to the program. It may be a natural extension to invite an honoree to address a gathered audience or to recognize and celebrate multiple honorees. For Regional Associations without an Annual Meeting already in place, the Regional Recognition Program provides a tremendous opportunity to incorporate an annual gathering or smaller spring event into the association’s calendar to both recognize the honoree(s) and bring alumni together.

Example 1: Large Association – Boston

The Boston Regional Association holds an Annual Meeting every spring (usually in June) where the group gives an update on alumni activities for the year, features an interesting faculty or alumni speaker, and has a reception with local alumni. Boston plans to include recognition of the three area honorees as part of this annual program, beginning with the June 2016 meeting. All honorees, the individual(s) who nominated them, and the honorees’ friends and family will be invited to attend the event, at which the honorees will be publicly recognized and presented with a citation and a certificate from Williams.

Example 2: Small Association – Cincinnati

The honoree will receive a personal and direct “congratulations” from the regional association. Depending on the winner’s preferences, background and connections to other local Williams alums, recognition options range from having the recipient be featured as a speaker at a regional event to a small celebratory gathering with select regional leaders and alumni which can then be shared via social media.

In future years, Cincinnati also plans to highlight previous honorees and the opportunity to nominate fellow Ephs at other events, such as the Williams-Amherst telecast or a faculty lecture.

Timeline and Checklist

All nominations will be received by the Alumni Relations Office and distributed to the appropriate Regional Association teams. In year one of the program (2015-16), the nominating period is expected to run from October through December of 2015, with Regional Associations reviewing nominations in January through March and recipients being named and recognized in spring 2016.

Here are specific to-dos, with a recommended time frame for each:

  • Review guidelines, timeline, and checklist and discuss process with other alumni leaders or Regional Association committee (September)
  • Craft and distribute initial communication announcing the program to your Regional Association (mid-October)
  • Include reminders about program and call for nominations in subsequent communications with region (October through December)
  • Continued communications and follow-up with Alumni Relations Office as nominations are collected (October through December)
  • Set review process and appoint point person and plan for review and selection as applicable (determine process by Thanksgiving)
  • Review all nominees and follow-up with those who submitted nominations (January and February 2016)
  • Make selection(s). Coordinate with Alumni Relations Office and later notify honorees and those who nominated them. (Spring 2016)
  • Plan recognition – notification, recognition from college, digital recognition, and possible programmatic/event recognition. of selection process and recognition to begin planning and preparing for next year. (Spring 2016)
  • Share review of first year experience and save institutional knowledge. (Summer 2016)

Please contact Rob Swann with any questions and comments.