Alumni have been a dynamic force in building the Clarkson spirit. The Alumni Association was created in 1904; they raised funds for the first and second gymnasiums and have developed into a crucial support of Clarkson’s daily operations, as well as special celebrations. Alumni value tradition, but also look to the future. Some return for reunions, others to recruit new graduates or interns into their companies. Some help recruit new students; some meet and mentor current students.
Alumni are crucial for introducing new students to Clarkson. One out of five alumni is a leader in their profession or community. New students want the same successes our alumni have.
Coming Back: Alumni Traditions
The most traditional of alumni traditions was homecoming, timed to correspond with high school homecomings, when alumni returned to support the first football game of the season. When football was discontinued, alumni came back for hockey games, but after a push in the 1970s and 80s to televise those games, alumni gathered in bars or at home to cheer on the Golden Knights. Slowly, fewer alums returned to campus.
The 21st century saw the invention of a new tradition: Cold Out, Gold Out, or COGO.
COGO began in 2016 with a pep rally and warming tent, a hockey game, dogsled rides, and an outdoor hockey rink. Over time, the event has expanded to include more interaction with current students so alumni can find out what they’re up to and help them do it. Connections continue to be made and evolve through a variety of activities, such as a leadership expo. In 2019, the first Clarkson TEDx was held during COGO, and students selected alumni to present.
Alumni also come back to campus during the summer reunions. Housing is available in the residence halls so alums can relive the past while making new memories, renewing friendships and keeping the Clarkson spirit and pride alive.
Alumni meet with prospective students, either in person or on the phone, and discuss the Clarkson experience. Dinners for leadership and achievement scholarship award winners are held, and some alumni return to campus during career fairs as corporate recruiters.
Rolled out in 2016, Knight Class is an opportunity for alumni to share advice with students about skills needed in the workplace. Talks have ranged from work attire to running a meeting.
Golden Knight Award
Clarkson’s most prestigious alumni award, the Golden Knight is given to alumni at their 25th reunion or subsequent years. The ideal candidate demonstrates a unique combination of career accomplishment, service to Clarkson and service to their community.
The Woodstock Award recognizes young alumni and is given at their 5-20th reunion years. The ideal candidate demonstrates a unique combination of career accomplishment, service to Clarkson and service to their community.
Honorary Alum Designation
This honor is bestowed to recognize and reward non-alumni for outstanding service to the University or the Alumni Association.
Stub Baker 1927 Service Award
This award is given to recognize special service by non-alumni or alumni service in an area without a chapter.
Lifetime Engagement Award
This award, given to reward alumni who have remained engaged and supportive of Clarkson’s mission, is bestowed at least 50 years after graduation.
The Alumni Gateway
The Alumni Gateway, between the Educational Resources Center and the Student Center, was established in 2010. Having a space on campus to communicate the alumni connection with current students is vital, since all students will become alumni. This gateway keeps tradition alive and honors the participation of active alumni. Funding for the gateway was raised by alumni in a record 18 months through the work of alumni organizations.
Clarkson’s Alumni Association keeps Golden Knights connected to Clarkson, no matter where they live, through a vast network of regional chapters and “knight sites.” Chapters play a vital role in keeping alumni engaged with and informed about their alma mater through the variety of events they host each year. Knight sites are groups that are fully engaged in alumni activities but are not formalized chapters.
Official Regional Chapters
Atlanta | Bay Area | Boston | Buffalo | Burlington | Capital District | Central New York | Charlotte | Chicago | Connecticut | Denver | Greenville | Houston | Long Island | Maine | Manchester | Mohawk Valley | New Jersey | New York City | North Country | Philadelphia | Rhode Island | Rochester | Seattle | Southeast Florida | Southern California | Southwest Florida | Washington D.C.
Binghamton, NY | Brevard County, FL | Cleveland, OH | Pittsburgh, PA | Raleigh, NC