"Experience the feeling of belonging."
The word alumni has its roots in Latin and is the plural of the word alumnus. It refers to “men and women who have completed their studies, especially at a college or university”, states the Cambridge Dictionary online.
Moreover, “alumni can be used to refer to men only, and in that case alumnae is used to refer to women only, but more often alumni is used to refer to either or both sexes where both attended the same school. The singular forms are alumnus for a man, and alumna for a woman.”
It is worth noting that even though ALUMNI is nowadays used for male or female, singular or plural, our Latin professors would have much preferred to have us respect number and gender correctly.
Being an alumna of several different institutions in diverse countries and cultures, it was quite a shock for me to see how important alumni are when it comes to the American College system. Who would have thought there’s actually an office dedicated to keep track of alumni, know what they have done after graduation and develop an ever lasting relationship with the institution?
Alumni offices share with former students and with the world the accomplishments of their family, yes, family, because I can say with certainty that it truly feels as being part of a family. A family that is so big and diverse and disperse around the world in many cases it has no boundaries. A family that at its origin has different languages, different cultures, objectives and priorities but that at some point all of that was left aside to share common ground, to be part of something together and feel forever an important part of its community.
Many get to live the alumni life in the greatest possible way which to my eyes would be staying around the area of the college from which a student graduated. This way alumni have access to live the best alumni life: go see their favorite teams play, share the work of students and faculty, the development of the campus and spend quality time with the "family".
Unfortunately, many others do not have the possibility to live “that” alumni life. Foreign students many times decide to keep moving around or go back home but any excuse is good to plan for a stop back to our ALMA MATER whenever possibile.
Personally, I am one of those alumni “away from home” and even though I was scheduled to go back in March 2020, the COVID Pandemic stopped me to do so. I am now scheduled to go back again ASAP and for sure I will stop by the alumni office and check on the progress of my family. I strongly suggest you do the same.