Role of an Alumni Chapter

Chapters are critical partners helping the Alumni Association achieve its mission to create a community of alumni, students and friends with a commitment to invest in the future of our University.  An Alumni Chapter may be organized based on geographical area, or based on a special interest or shared affinity for a Texas State program.  Chapter objectives are essentially the same as the core principles of the Association:

  • Building Relationships – To cultivate strong relationships between alumni and Texas State University
  • Standard of Excellence – To support Texas State University’s history, traditions, accomplishments and initiatives
  • Leadership – To advance the needs of a global, diverse student body, faculty and alumni base
  • Partnership – To create a community culture of alumni participation and philanthropy

Alumni chapters serve to connect alumni, promote the Alumni Association and Texas State University around the world, and to strengthen ties between alumni and their communities.  Managing an alumni chapter is a big responsibility and requires the efforts of multiple volunteers working together in order to be truly successful. 

Expectations for Chapter Volunteers

Our most successful Alumni Chapter Leadership Teams are deeply committed to advancing the goals and programs of the Alumni Association and the University.  They are committed to becoming involved with alumni programs, will enthusiastically support the institution, and work faithfully to obtain the support and participation of others. This is generally accomplished through the following volunteer expectations.

1.    Association Membership
The Alumni Association’s annual operating budget is primarily supported by membership dues. It is expected that members of a Chapter Leadership Team will be dues paying members of the Association throughout their tenure. It is also expected that members of the Chapter Leadership Team assist the Association in growing its membership base by informing others about the importance of Alumni Association membership to Texas State University.

2.    Committee Assignments
To effectively manage chapter operations and programming in a timely and organized manner, it is highly recommended that members of a Chapter Leadership Team hold their respective position or serve on at least one committee for a complete term (or minimally one year). Committee assignments are made by the president and can change throughout service to the chapter as necessary and appropriate to interests and time availability of volunteers.

3.    Program and Meeting Attendance
Chapter leader visibility is essential in achieving the mission of the chapter. It is important that members of the Chapter Leadership Team actively participate in the programs and events sponsored by both the chapter and the Alumni Association.  In addition to chapter activities, volunteers are encouraged to attend programs and events sponsored by the Alumni Association. Chapter Leadership Teams should designate at least one leader to attend the annual Chapter Leader Training and one Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting each calendar year.

4.    Advocacy
There are a variety of ways in which chapter leaders can bring value to the chapter through their personal and business connections. Leaders can achieve this by serving as goodwill ambassadors for the chapter in their community. Leaders can also create meaningful connections with alumni, and within the community, which help to forward the chapter’s purpose, build Association membership, and develop audiences and community participation. It is expected that chapter leaders respect, uphold and support the strategic mission of the chapter and the Alumni Association.

5.    Recruitment
Chapter leaders are expected to recruit qualified and enthusiastic individuals to become chapter leaders. Chapter leaders should actively promote a variety of volunteer opportunities in order to mentor and develop potential chapter leaders.

6.    Financial Contributions
Beyond your chosen level of membership dues, there is no additional financial contribution required of volunteers. If a volunteer is inclined to make a contribution, we do greatly appreciate the additional support.

7.    Updated Biographical Information
Chapter leaders should submit updated biographical and contact information as requested on an annual basis by the Chapter President, or upon request from the Office of Alumni Relations.

How to Charter a Chapter

Alumni Chapters generally begin with a small group of dedicated graduates with similar interests. An Alumni Chapter can do many different things.  It can serve as a social outlet for Bobcats and friends of the University, raise funds for scholarships, create pride and awareness in a community, and provide networking and professional development opportunities for alumni and current students.  All Alumni Chapters operate under the mission and umbrella of the Texas State Alumni Association and Texas State University. The following seven steps outline the process for starting an Alumni Chapter or for revitalizing an inactive chapter. 

Step 1: Form an Advisory Committee
Contact the Office of Alumni Relations for support in generating interest among those in your selected constituency group. Get in touch with a minimum of three (3) alumni you may know through business or personal contacts who are interested in providing volunteer leadership for the chapter. Members of the advisory committee will serve as the temporary Chapter Leadership Team. The role of the committee is to generate chapter interest and complete the necessary paperwork to officially charter the chapter. Determine a time, date and place to hold an initial meeting. Contact 10-15 people to attend the meeting and/or utilize the Alumni Association broadcast email. At the meeting, there should be a call for volunteers willing to further discuss goals for the chapter, potential activities, and volunteer positions and committees. Obtain a roster of contact information of those present. Choose volunteers to serve on the Chapter Leadership Team. Presidents of chapters applying for charter must have a conversation over the phone or in-person with an Alumni Association staff member to discuss if the chapter is ready to meet the expectations of a chartered chapter, and if the president is ready to meet the expectations of a chapter president.

Step 2: Complete a Charter Petition Form
Groups must identify a chapter president and include a minimum of three (3) dues-paying Association members to serve on the Chapter Leadership Team. Choose a preferred chapter name. Obtain five (5) signatures on the charter petition form and turn in a roster of chapter volunteers. If the chapter is affiliated with an academic program or student organization at Texas State University, a signature of endorsement must be obtained from the appropriate campus representative as identified by the Office of Alumni Relations.

Step 3: Submission of the Charter Petition and Chapter Bylaws
The Chapter Leadership Team should create bylaws using the provided sample bylaws template.  Upon review, the Office of Alumni Relations will forward the Charter Petition and Chapter Bylaws to the Chair of the Chapters Committee, or other responsible member of the Alumni Association Executive Committee.

Step 4: Review of Charter Petition and Chapter Bylaws
The Chair of the Chapters Committee, or responsible Executive Committee member of the Alumni Association, will oversee review of the Charter Petition and make a recommendation to the Board of Directors for granting of a charter. The petitioning Chapter President will be afforded the opportunity to speak before the committee.

Step 5: Formal Vote of Recognition by Alumni Association Board of Directors
Charters will be reviewed on congruence with the mission and values of the Alumni Association and established Chapter Operational Guidelines contained in this document. A majority vote of quorum is required of the Alumni Association Board of Directors for official recognition. The petitioning chapter will be afforded the opportunity to speak on their own behalf before the Texas State Alumni Association Board of Directors at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Step 6: Official Recognition
On behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Office of Alumni Relations will notify the chapter of the vote in writing. Formal benefits, services and responsibilities will commence.

Guidelines for Creating Chapter Bylaws

As a requirement for official recognition, chapters must create bylaws that govern the business activities and operations of the chapter. A chapter bylaws template has been approved by the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Additional standing rules governing day-to-day chapter business operations can be adopted at a later date and approved at any chapter business meeting and noted in chapter meeting minutes or notes. No standing rule may be adopted which conflicts with the chapter bylaws or the Alumni Chapter Operational Guidelines.

Chapter bylaws that conflict with the bylaws, policies or mission of the Texas State Alumni Association or Texas State University will may not be adopted.