Universities find creative ways to reach out to alumni, donors

Universities across the country are losing millions of dollars due to the coronavirus pandemic. So universities are having to get creative with their outreach to alumni and donors.

The Stetson University Alumni Association is hosting virtual events almost daily to entertain and inform their alumni, students and student’s parents.


One of those events was a Q&A session with nine-time PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar. Both of Kuchar’s parents, Peter and Meg Kuchar, attended Stetson in the 70s. Matt reminisced with some of the Hatters alumni about going to Stetson basketball games as a kid.

“To go there and to be a part of an atmosphere with a couple thousand people in the stands. It was just so, so exciting.” Matt said. “As a young kid to just walk around. DeLand’s such a neat town and Stetson’s such a beautiful university. To have dad kind of show me around and go to these games are memories I’ll always have.”

The online events are organized by Woody O’Cain, Stetson’s assistant vice president of development for alumni and engagement. The virtual meetups have also included concerts and webinars from Stetson alumni.

O’Cain said, “We’re just trying to find those connections that will entice and entertain and inform people. It's been a lot of fun.”

Thanks in part to the virtual events from the alumni association. Stetson University and the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport raised more than $200,000 for “The Hatters Care COVID-19 Emergency Fund.” It was put in place to help students impacted by the pandemic.