How St. Francis High School welcomed Class of 2020 alumni brethren with video messages

As the COVID-19 outbreak forced St. Francis High School to move Class of 2020’s commencement ceremony online, the school went above and beyond in ensuring that their new alumni brethren receive a warm welcome. The school’s alumni community came forward with video messages extending a hearty welcome to their new community members and brightening up Class of 2020’s virtual commencement ceremony.

About St. Francis High School

Located in Los Angeles, CA, St. Francis High School is a Catholic, college preparatory school for boys in grades 9-12. Since its founding by the Capuchin Franciscan friars in 1946, St. Francis High School has remained committed to enriching the mind and heart, strengthening respect through service and humility, creating a brotherhood, and envisioning men of virtue and peace.

Catering to over 4,000 alumni, the school is renowned for its 100% graduation rate. It offers a challenging academic curriculum, a competitive athletic program, and a wide variety of opportunities for extracurricular involvement.

Alumni affairs at St. Francis High School is handled by Tom Hand, Alumni Champion & Volunteer Project Leader, Tim Murphy, Director of Development, and Michel Albert, The President of the St. Francis High School Alumni Association.

What were the challenges faced by St. Francis High School?

Commencement ceremony moved online and plans to welcome Class of 2020 alumni the traditional way hampered

Similar to other institutions, St. Francis High School was also prompted to host a virtual commencement ceremony due to the ongoing pandemic. Strict social distancing measures also implied that in-person traditional events or rituals that were held to welcome new alumni to the community now had to be either cancelled, postponed or moved online. St. Francis High School could not let the coronavirus crisis take away the memories associated with one of the most important milestones in their graduates’ lives. 

New graduates disappointed and stressed over being robbed of a traditional end-of-year programming

This pandemic has been tough for everyone but, it’s an absolute nightmare for the Class of 2020. These new graduates are anxious and disappointed as their final months on campus are lost, traditions and rituals that they longed for now stand cancelled, and a looming job crisis awaits them. With so much to deal with, St. Francis High School was worried about the long-term impact of this situation on the mental health of its alumni. 

What was St. Francis High School able to achieve after implementing Almabase?

Bring the alumni community together to welcome Class of 2020 alumni

While the Class of 2020 graduates were set to have a virtual commencement ceremony scheduled for May 23rd, 2020, nothing could compensate for the fact that they were missing out on a defining moment in their lives - physical participation at their high school graduation. 

Amidst these challenging times, St. Francis High School wanted to make sure that these new graduates hear from their seniors. The school urged its alumni to welcome the newest members with thoughtful video messages, praises, and words of wisdom to encourage them as they embark on a new journey. The compiled video is available on Youtube and was played during Class of 2020’s virtual commencement ceremony hosted on May 23rd, 2020. 

Check out the full video on Youtube

St. Francis High School set up a dedicated page on its alumni website to collect video submissions from community members and drove participation via social media and email.

Check out the dedicated page with detailed instructions on video submissions

St. Francis High School created a series of Facebook posts encouraging alumni to do their bit for their new alumni brethren.

#1 post announcing the video submissions campaign on St. Francis Alumni Association page. View the post on Facebook here.

#2 Facebook post asking for more submissions from pre-2000 class years. View the post here.

#3 final call post one day before the campaign closing day. View the post here.

St. Francis High School also sent a final reminder email to its alumni community on the morning of the last day of submissions. 

The school witnessed great engagement on their last call email.

31.2% email open rate
4.06% click rate

Honor Class of 2020 with a separate website of their own

St. Francis High School went out of its way to honor the achievements and sacrifices of Class of 2020. The school highlighted each graduate on their school website and set up a separate website dedicated to celebrating Class of 2020’s time at St. Francis. The school added a series of videos as well as pictures to capture the memories and achievements of Class of 2020 graduates. 

Head over to St. Francis High School Class of 2020’s dedicated website

St. Francis High School continues to engage and support its alumni throughout the COVID-19 crisis with Almabase. Head over to St. Francis Alumni Association website.

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