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Blog > Building Your Community > Engaging the Class of 2020 around the world

Engaging the Class of 2020 around the world

With none of the traditional farewell events available, find out how schools and universities worldwide have been celebrating the Class of 2020 and welcoming them into their alumni community.

Graduates throwing their caps
Graduates throwing their caps

The Class of 2020 have certainly not had the traditional send off that most of us remember so fondly, missing out on a summer of highly-anticipated leaver’s assemblies, proms and graduation ceremonies. While 2020 has so far featured a series of events that nobody predicted, the upheaval has emphasised the need to remain connected during difficult times. 

As this unique cohort of high school and university leavers alike take their next steps, they need all the support they can get. Don’t delay in developing your digital community platform, and  providing a way for your alumni to stay connected to your school, college or university, and one another. 

ToucanTech communities worldwide have been showing us how to send off their Class of 2020  in style. Take a look below at some of the best ideas we’ve found to engage leavers during these unusual times, and into their bright futures. 

UK universities prepare graduates for virtual working

In the UK, universities have been scrambling to prepare their graduates for a very different type of jobs market. With careers fairs, internships and mentoring schemes all moved online, it has never been more important to create a virtual space for graduates to find opportunities. Help your students out by running your own mentoring hub and allowing your alumni to connect with each other through a dedicated Class of 2020 site. 

Meanwhile, school leavers at Aylesbury Grammar School have been invited to join their alumni network online, with over 50% of their students creating profiles already. By joining this network, Aylesbury Grammar alumni can share posts with their cohort and reminisce on their highlights, while staying updated with school news. Find out how you can connect your alumni community from afar and say a virtual farewell to your class of 2020.

Watford Grammar School for Girls  have also found success in engaging their 2020 cohort, creating a buzzing alumni community with nearly all of their 2020 alumni signed up already! Past alumni have been giving a big welcome and sharing messages of support for the newest graduating class, demonstrating the value of having one space for alumni to connect and support each other. 

New Zealand graduates: heading for the new normal

University graduates across New Zealand have had a very different final year to the one they were expecting, and while life is beginning to look a little more normal now, the class of 2020 have certainly faced unusual challenges this year. Make sure you know where your graduates are heading by sending out a leaver’s survey, so that you can stay in touch and inspire the next class with their adventures.

Celebrating international graduates in a new way

While postponing leavers events is the likely option for many schools, international schools may not have this option, as the current crisis has sent their students scattered across the globe. Honouring their graduating class in a different way, some international schools have chosen to highlight student accomplishments online through social media and school websites. Enable your students to see their cohort highlights, as well as share their memories and experiences, all in one place that they can look back on for years to come. 

Canada creates a once-in-a-lifetime experience for their graduates

Canada has pulled out all of the stops to create a memorable experience for their 2020 graduates, with celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes and Meghan Trainor livestreaming to offer their best advice. But they also reminded us that the most inspiring stories came from students themselves who had helped their communities through COVID-19. Host your own virtual graduation to recognise your own students’ stories of community, resilience and generosity.  

Graduating on Zoom in the US

In the US, high school seniors and staff have been getting creative to say goodbye to their school experience. As the traditional diploma hand-over is replaced by cheering drive bys, virtual proms and graduating on Zoom, schools are still finding ways to say recognise and reward the accomplishments of the class of 2020 as they move onto their next steps. Connect your alumni before they head off to work or college, and they will always have a space to support one another and keep in touch.

Find out more

The Class of 2020 will soon dive into their futures in a very different world than anything we have known before, and this year has shown the power that technology has in keeping us connected. Support your alumni by finding out how to create a Class of 2020 community microsite.

Get in touch at hello@toucantech.com to find out more about how we can support your alumni community, or check out how your Class of 2020 site could look.

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