How William Peace University welcomed the Class of 2020 to the Alumni Association virtually

Like hundreds of universities across the country, William Peace University’s Office of Advancement struggled to find the right way to welcome the newest members of the Alumni Association and celebrate the Class of 2020 amid the constraints of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing new graduates would be unable to celebrate their commencement with traditional WPU events, but the office found a way to recognize the class and toast to their success. William Peace University launched a series of virtual engagement opportunities to toast to the success of the Class of 2020.

About William Peace University

William Peace University is a nationally-ranked, award-winning private college in Raleigh, North Carolina with an alumni strength of over 12,000+. It offers undergraduate degrees in 30 majors and the School of Professional Studies (SPS) offers accelerated bachelor degrees that are online or hybrid for working adults. 

The university’s mission is to prepare students for careers in the organizations of tomorrow. Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, the student develops an appreciation for life-long learning, a focus on meaningful careers, and skills for ethical citizenship.

While William Peace University has a 6-person Advancement team, a large portion of alumni engagement and fundraising programs are overseen by two members - Ellie Barker, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving and Maya Bryant, Annual Giving and Engagement Manager.

What were the challenges faced by William Peace University?

Disruption of plans to welcome and engage with the Class of 2020 alumni due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis brought about a lot of unexpected changes in the way William Peace University planned to engage with new alumni. Following strict social distancing measures and safety regulations, the university had to cancel or postpone all traditional graduation events and  the Class of 2020’s commencement ceremony remains postponed until further guidelines are issued by the university leadership.

New graduates disappointed and anxious as they face an uncertain future

Every graduating class comes out with a lot of expectations and the Class of 2020 is no exception. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit them the hardest as they prepare to launch themselves into the worst job market since the Great Recession. In times like these, William Peace University sensed the need to go above and beyond to help support these young grads.

What was William Peace University able to achieve after implementing Almabase?

Welcome Class of 2020 as alumni via a virtual new grad toast event

The Office of Advancement, along with members of the senior leadership team, University President Brian C. Ralph and Vice President for Student Life Frank Rizzo, and Alumni President Sarah Barge extended a warm welcome to the Class of 2020 at virtual New Grad Toast. Students . The university hosted a virtual event to raise a toast to these brave graduates and honor the accomplishments and sacrifices they’ve had to make over these past few months.

The Advancement Team set up a dedicated event page on their alumni website and promoted the event via emails and social media.


Check out the ‘Toast to the Class of 2020’ event page on William Peace University's alumni website


William Peace University shared a GIF on their Facebook page inviting Class of 2020 alumni to the virtual event. View the post on Facebook.

William Peace University sent out a targeted email to Class of 2020 announcing the virtual event

William Peace University sent out email reminders to Class of 2020 alumni on the day of the event

Uplift the spirit of their new alumni with a touching tribute

As the Class of 2020 missed their traditional end-of-year programming and are already preoccupied with thoughts of an uncertain future, William Peace University’s advancement team knew that they had to do something truly special for their newest community members.

As the Class of 2020 missed out on their final months on campus and a conventional graduation ceremony currently stands postponed, William Peace University’s Advancement Office created a thoughtful tribute video honoring their age old traditions.


The fountain at the university campus grounds holds a special place in the heart of all Peace graduates. Watch the full video on Facebook.

William Peace University continues to engage and support its alumni throughout the COVID-19 crisis and organize successful virtual events round the year with Almabase. Head over to William Peace University’s alumni website.

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