SEM Class Agents provide an important link between each class of graduates and the school. Class Agents have long served an important role in seeking support from their classmates for SEM’s Annual Fund. Class Agents also play an essential part in sharing news from SEM with their class, rekindling connections, and facilitating communication among classmates.
Class Agents do not have to live in Western New York! We have SEM Class Agents across the US and abroad. Most classes have one or two Class Agents. Class Agents generally serve for five years, starting in a reunion year and continuing to their next reunion. Some Class Agents choose to serve multiple five-year terms.
SEM’s Advancement Office identifies and contacts alumnae willing to serve as Class Agents. The Advancement Office also welcomes self-nominations from alumnae who wish to be Class Agents.
Why become a Class Agent? First, it’s fun! It is a great way to stay in touch with your classmates, help your classmates connect with each other, keep on top of news and developments at SEM, and serve your alma mater. Class Agents assist SEM in planning their class reunion activities. Class Agents also get the chance to meet and network with Class Agents of other classes to share ideas, best practices, and success stories.
If you would like to serve as a Class Agent, email Development@buffaloseminary.org
or phone: 716-885-6780 ext. 221.
What do Class Agents do?
· Through a variety of communication methods – from telephoning to texting to emailing – Class Agents share with their classmates news about SEM, upcoming alumnae events in and beyond Buffalo, and opportunities to engage with SEM “on the road” as students participate in athletic, academic, and cultural events in cities across the US and abroad.
· Encourage classmates to participate in the Annual Fund, Reunion Giving, and other forms of fundraising for SEM through messages and reminders. Communicate the importance of alumnae financial support and the significance of a high level of alumnae participation. With support of the Advancement Office, provide classmates information on SEM’s funding needs and priorities, various gift-giving opportunities, and methods for making an annual or recurring gift. Class Agents’ involvement in Annual Fund activities generally occurs in the fall and spring.
· Acknowledge classmates’ gifts to SEM through personalized communication such as a handwritten note, email, or phone call.
· Encourage classmates to connect with SEM’s loyal, accomplished, and extensive alumnae network worldwide by reaching out to alumnae for information and advice on careers and job opportunities, colleges, and graduate school programs, relocating to a new city, or sharing interests and experiences using SEM’s new online Alumnae Directory (coming soon!) and the Buffalo Seminary Alumnae LinkedIn Group.
· Assist SEM in planning their class’s reunions; generate enthusiasm and encourage classmates to attend reunion activities.
A Class Agent Tool Box
SEM’s Institutional Advancement Office organizes and supports Class Agents. Advancement provides Class Agents a contact list for their class, Annual Fund schedule, calendar of Class Agent activities and gatherings (virtual and in-person), supplies, tips, and sample messaging and talking points. SEM also provides Class Agents news, information on alumnae events, and a calendar of SEM activities to share with their classmates through social media and other communications.
While Class Agents traditionally have used handwritten notes and phone calls to reach classmates, creative and flexible communications that work best for each class are encouraged. Below are a few examples of ways that Class Agents have successfully developed communications and networking within their classes and had fun in the process!
· Set up class Facebook groups for classmates to connect, share news, and post photos, and for Class Agents to convey news from SEM. Class Agents from smaller classes may wish to set up a Facebook group for several classes that graduated from SEM in 2 or 3 consecutive years.
· Hold class gatherings on Zoom – SEM classes have held cocktail / social hours, book clubs, coffee hours, cooking classes, and Buffalo Bills tailgate parties via Zoom! SEM can help with hosting the Zoom calls and emailing invitations. Class Agents also may focus a Zoom session on a specific theme or topic, invite a SEM faculty member to participate, or commemorate an event (e.g., their graduation day!)