Alumni Association launches new online experience

Author: Angela Sienko

Smart technology with a personal touch — that would be the simple way to describe myNotreDame, the Alumni Association’s new website.

“As its name implies, myNotreDame is a personal connection between you and the University,” says Chuck Lennon Jr. ’61, ’62 M.A., executive director of the Alumni Association and associate vice president for University Relations. “For example, if someone indicates in his user profile that he was a member of the Notre Dame Band, lived in Dillon and participated in Bengal Bouts, we will be able to customize his experience so that when he logs in to myNotreDame, he may see updates about upcoming band reunions or news about future Dillon pep rallies or details about the next Bengal Bouts tournament.”

In addition to the updated website’s fresh look, improved features and more intuitive navigation, offers many new tools for alumni, parents and friends seeking to connect with the University and each other.

“With the addition of a new feature — online discussion groups — users will be able to connect with other Domers who share their interests and engage in conversations about everything from faith and family to alumni living abroad to the challenges of raising children as a working ND mom,” says Lennon.

“That’s the beauty of myNotreDame’s online groups, they connect people with any number of common denominators,” he adds. “It may be shared experiences while students or current professions or even personal interests; the point is that alumni are able to connect with each other, and they can do it in a familiar and trusted environment — Notre Dame.”

To have the most personal interaction with the myNotreDame site, alumni need to revisit their online profile and select specific settings to indicate their interests. Once complete, myNotreDame does the rest, offering up suggestions for discussion groups and events.

Not all of the changes to the website involve personal customization. Many of the enhancements appear on the home page, which still features the latest University news, access to a variety of spiritual resources, alumni programs and events, as well as links for RSS and newsfeeds. Redesigned to improve usability and navigation, the new home page now also includes a ND club locator and will soon feature a directory that provides links to the Facebook pages of Notre Dame clubs, classes and alumni groups.

“We know that Facebook is the site of choice for many alums who enjoy social networking,” Lennon says. “Our goal isn’t to compete with Facebook but rather to integrate it with myNotreDame.” As such, alumni who are registered Facebook users will be able to log in to myNotreDame using Facebook Connect, so there is no need to remember two separate passwords.

While myNotreDame replaces Irish Online as the Alumni Association’s secure website, users are not required to re-register for myNotreDame. Current Irish Online usernames and passwords will work in the new system.

“That was very important to us when we started this project more than a year ago — we wanted the new site launch to be as seamless as possible,” says Lennon. “There is no additional work necessary for the users, though I’m sure many will look forward to getting in there and customizing their online profiles.”

In addition to personal profile information, alumni who log into myNotreDame will have access to a searchable directory and online communities, as well as tools for volunteer leaders.

“Alumni who volunteer as class or club leaders are going to really notice how streamlined the website is and how much simpler it will be to manage data,” says Lennon. “We will be arming them with some brand new tools, such as online forms and credit-card processing. I think they will be pleased.”

Angela Sienko is alumni editor of Notre Dame Magazine.