Promoting Alumni Engagement, Facilitating Connections

Published on July 29, 2013

Tracy McCabe, the new executive director of Alumni Relations, hopes to facilitate relationships among Booth’s 48,000 alumni and “determine where they align for the greater good.”

“Alumni have such capability and influence to organize, advocate, and promote the school and their experience,” said McCabe, who began in his position on June 3.

McCabe and his team will be responsible for Booth’s alumni activities around the world, including developing and executing a strategic plan for volunteer management and engagement, Dean Sunil Kumar said in announcing the appointment. Kumar noted that improving alumni engagement has been one of his top priorities. For example, the school combined Management Conference, Alumni Celebration, and class reunions into RECONNECT weekend, is in the process of improving its alumni database, and enhanced alumni offerings on the Booth website.

Alumni Relations also has made it priority to connect alumni to the student community in order to share the experience and insights of graduates with students and to bring the community together. With McCabe’s hiring, Booth separated the school’s development operation from alumni relations, which is now aligned with the program offices. 

McCabe joined Booth from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where for the past decade he led alumni relations, marketing, and strategic planning for the College of Business. Previously, he led a 70-member sales administration team at Solo Cup Co. in Highland Park, Illinois.

It was his experience earning his MBA at the University of Illinois that whet his appetite for a career shift to higher education. “I wanted to stay in an environment that was intellectually stimulating,” McCabe said in an interview. He began volunteering at the business school, which at the time was considering moving its executive MBA program from Urbana-Champaign to Chicago. That created an opportunity in communications as the school moved ahead with the 2003 relocation. He later added responsibility for alumni relations.

A stellar alumni base drew him to Booth. “You can’t travel the world without meeting Booth alumni who are achieving great results for the companies they work for and the business world, and in that way, impacting society,” he said.—Judith Crown