For Butler Raines, ’99, his Georgia College education has come full circle.
“The skills I bring to Georgia College are the same skills I learned at Georgia College,” said Raines, the newly elected Alumni Association Board president.
Before he became president, Raines, who resides in Atlanta, served on the board since 2010. During that time, he focused on alumni outreach through events and social media. In serving as president-elect for two years, Raines became increasingly aware of the willingness of the board members to give up their time and easily collaborate.
“What I have seen since day one of my involvement with the Alumni Association has been the amazing outpouring of love, support and true dedication to Georgia College that my fellow board members would constantly show,” said Raines. “Also, that they always keep the educational experience of the current students in the foreground, even though most of us graduated more than a decade ago.”
One of his priorities in serving as president of the Alumni Board will be to continue a strong commitment to servant leadership.
“I believe that servant leadership is one of the unique characteristics of a Georgia College graduate,” said Raines. “Just look at our current student body, and all of the work that the GIVE Center does. It’s simply part of the DNA of being a Georgia College student and graduate, and the Alumni Board of Directors will continue to emulate that mindset of service. The goals of the Alumni Board are to promote Georgia College, share the great achievements of our students, challenge ourselves to be a better network of alumni for future students, and connect as many alumni to Georgia College and each other as we can during our service.”
“I want our board to model ‘giving back’ to the current students both with time, investment and monetarily,” he said. “I’d also like to attract talented alumni from around the country to participate. I encourage each Georgia College alumni to become involved wherever they are: visit our Facebook page, be an ambassador for Georgia College—telling future students why you chose this as your alma mater. Keep the alumni office informed update your address, submit a class note or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org on how you want to help take Georgia College to a national presence.”
Although the many events held each year have brought in mostly regional alumni support, ultimately, Raines envisions a much broader, national outreach in order to keep alumni connected.
“We have seen unprecedented turnout in our events over the last few years especially in Milledgeville and Atlanta,” said Raines. “I want to see this spread out to other parts of the state and the country. By leveraging social media and other mediums we can reach more and more alumni and curate events they will want to attend. But really what this means is more alumni involvement in all aspects of their relationship to the college.”
Through the years, Raines’ connection with alumni has fostered new friendships.
“I have been able to grow a wonderful network in Atlanta that mirrors the loving community I experienced at Georgia College,” he said. “Because of my involvement volunteering as a board member, faculty and staff who were once my mentors have become friends and partners in the success of Georgia College. This came about beautifully.”
He also reflects on how instrumental his time spent on the Georgia College Council of Student Ambassadors was in becoming a leader.
“Through the ambassador team I learned leadership and team work,” said Raines, who helped to establish the Georgia College Council of Student Ambassadors. “This has helped me achieve so many of my goals and dreams. I look forward to modeling the same attributes through my board work.”
In bridging the gap between alumni and students, he encourages all Georgia College alumni to get involved.
“There are countless ways that each Georgia College alumni can play a role in helping the association from mentoring a student or recent alumni, paving the way for internships, providing financial support, attending alumni events, recommending a potential student and more,” said Raines. “Building a strong alumni network, regardless of when you attended, is something that helps all 46,000 of us.”