OSWEGO — Michael Sgro has been appointed the new director of alumni and parent relations at SUNY Oswego. He will oversee the direction of all alumni programs and initiatives at Oswego, including reunions, regional events and student-alumni programs.
Sgro steps into the role after 27 years of leadership by Betsy Oberst, who is now associate vice president for alumni relations and stewardship. “We are excited to welcome Michael into the Oswego alumni family,” Oberst said. “He has a wealth of experience and many exciting ideas.”
Sgro has been a higher education professional for 15 years, beginning his career in residence life and student activities before moving into alumni relations and marketing.
The Syracuse native most recently was marketing and communications manager at Campus Groups, Novalsys Inc. He served as assistant director of alumni and parent programs at his undergraduate alma mater, Le Moyne College in Syracuse, from 2006 to 2010, and previously was senior associate director of alumni affairs at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
He is the founder and a frequent contributor to the blog Alumni Trending, which has grown to more than 600 participants in one month. It is a forum for sharing best practices among alumni relations professionals over social networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. He said he hopes to use social media to engage and connect alumni and to help them share their Oswego stories.
He said he is proudest of his partnerships with community organizations, like Le Moyne’s early collaboration with the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s Brew at the Zoo. “Supporting your community is what it’s all about,” he said. “Your community thrives and we (the alumni association) thrive.”
Stressing that “every alum is different,” Sgro hopes to provide a menu of opportunities so alumni who are busy can choose the ways they can become involved. He stressed that alumni can become involved in multiple ways that “meet the needs of people today,” from providing email updates to helping current students prepare for or begin their careers, speaking to classes on campus, hosting an event in their homes, or helping a fellow graduate land a job.
“I would love to but I know we will not get all 75,000 alumni back to campus,” Sgro said. “So I want to put Oswego on the brain — every day — of our graduates, have them thinking about Oswego every day. My dream is that every alum will believe that the relationship can change and grow stronger, even if they have not been involved for 30 years.”