College of Business alumni encouraged to start affinity group

College of Business alumni encouraged to start affinity group

T he J. Whitney Bunting College of Business (CoB) is interested in forming its own Alumni Affinity Group. With an overwhelming majority of alumni surveyed expressing interest in joining an affinity group, the new Bunting College of Business Alumni Affinity Group is now in the exploration phase.

Once Dr. Micheal Stratton became the new dean for the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, he engaged the CoB Leadership Board members to think about areas that directly affect criteria on its upcoming AACSB reaccreditation. One of these areas is alumni engagement and support. 

Amber Bennett Brannon, ’09, ’10, was appointed as the alumni engagement and outreach chair for the CoB’s Leadership Board’s Executive Committee. She’s spearheading the effort to get the Bunting COB Alumni Affinity Group started.

Amber Bennett Brannon, '09, '10
Amber Bennett Brannon, '09, '10

Starting an alumni affinity group takes time. After receiving initial interest, we need approval from the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

“I think it's a more unique and smaller sense of community. And just like a lot of other university Alumni Associations, they sometimes can feel big or broad. But, the affinity groups are an opportunity to help people feel more connection with a smaller group of other Georgia College alumni.”
– Amber Bennett Brannon

In the meantime, the CoB has also researched geographic areas with a high concentration of alumni, so they can plan to host virtual, and eventually in-person, networking events in these locations. 

“An affinity group offers a unique opportunity for our CoB alumni to share stories, network and build community across generations,” said Stratton. “The faculty and staff often tell me stories about the impactful work of our alumni and how they are making a difference and excelling in their respective professions locally and globally. Our CoB alumni are indeed role models for our students to see and learn how the liberal arts education can be brought to life during and after their time in Atkinson.”

Brannon feels it’s important to join Georgia College affinity groups.

“I think it's a more unique, smaller sense of community,” she said. “And just like a lot of other university Alumni Associations, they sometimes can feel big or broad. But, the affinity groups are an opportunity to help people feel more connection with a smaller group of other  alumni.”

Brannon recalls when she was a student, she felt a sense of belonging in the CoB, because it felt like a smaller community within the overall college.

“I think it really speaks to the College of Business culture that students feel connected to it,” Brannon said. “So, the affinity group could be a great opportunity for us to connect with other alumni who felt the same way.”

“Academic affinity groups are always unique in that they demonstrate a perfect balance of alumni interest and support from the respective colleges or departments,” said Tre' Juan “Tre'” Johnson, assistant director of Alumni Awards, Collaborations and Reunions. “We currently have three such groups, and I highly encourage alumni to express their interest in organizing affinity groups based on their majors.”

Ultimately, it's the Alumni Association Board of Directors who decides which groups to establish based on alumni interest and the university's needs at the time.

"I look forward to seeing if the CoB Alumni Affinity Group surpasses its interest phase and adds to the Georgia College Alumni Affinity Groups, Chapters and Friends program,” said Johnson. 

To express interest in a Bunting College of Business Alumni Affinity group, contact Tre' Johnson at trejuan.johnson@gcsu.edu.