Promo for On The Yard featuring Emile Parker and Cheri Wilson


In this episode of On The Yard, we talk with Emile Parker, Director of Alumni Relations at Oakwood University, and Cheri Wilson, Executive Director of University Advancement, about how HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions can effectively position themselves as beneficiaries of major philanthropic gifts. 

Cheri Wilson and Emile Parker have a long history of engagement, as their work allows them to engage with the alumni association and give back to the community at Oakwood University. They believe that in order to build relationships and allies, minority-serving institutions should develop collaborations, advocates, and a range of donation choices because their goal is to motivate donors to participate by offering value and engagement. 

Emile Parker suggests that when someone becomes a donor, it is important to appreciate and recognize the connection. According to Parker, the secret formula to maintaining alumni relationships is “creating value plus engagement equals giving,” and institutions should explore creative ways to engage alumni. Engagement is the first step in building relationships, and colleges should look for innovative ways to engage alumni. Activities such as career counseling, student recruitment, volunteering, and giving are some examples to encourage donors to make any contribution to be a part of the institution's future. 

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On the Yard explores the culture and leadership trends happening across Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) nationwide. The podcast dives into the unique issues faced by these historic and minority-serving institutions through a series of conversations with leaders and advocates.


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