Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Social Innovation (M.A.)

Degree Program

Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies

First Advisor

Wendy Burns-Ardolino

Academic Year



A reciprocal relationship is based on a mutual exchange of goods, services, and support. Within the work of an alumni relations office, building and facilitating reciprocity between alumni and their alma mater summarizes the work. However, stereotypically, the relationship an alumnus/alumna has with their alma mater would not be described as reciprocal. Rather, it may be seen as single-sided, the university constantly asking alumni for their time, talent, and treasure. Thus, this qualitative, exploratory study utilized alumni interviews to determine the perception alumni have of their relationship with their alma mater. The study results suggest alumni do perceive their relationship with their alma mater as reciprocal and view the alumni relations office as the connector between the respective parties. Additionally, the findings allude to the interpretation of reciprocal offerings, the social impact alumni desire to provide, and the influence of brand communities on the relationship.