A New Chapter For Alumni
A group of Hokies in McLean, Virginia, has helped Virginia Tech record an important first–the university’s inaugural corporate alumni chapter.
Launched just two years ago with a modest kickoff and 75 members, the Freddie Mac Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association has grown to 200 members.
“We’re still trying to find everyone,” said Russell McDiffett ’06, a chapter co-chair who works in investments and capital markets at the company.
Traditional alumni chapters are organized based on geography. Alums in a region organize to socialize and serve their local communities. A chapter based not on region, but in a company, is an idea that works especially well in Northern Virginia (Freddie Mac in particular), where people are commuting from different areas.
Marvin Boyd ’00, who works in information technology at Freddie Mac and had served previously as president of the National Capital Region Chapter, said the corporate chapter structure makes it easier for Hokies to connect.
“Hokies are spread across multiple buildings,” he said. “Our chapter creates a stronger, more welcoming community for a diverse organization for all employees.”
McDiffett said the chapter’s outreach has grown along with its numbers. The group has planned a session to provide guidance on the college admissions process, held a corporate-wide volleyball tournament and a Habitat for Humanity build, and participated in take-your-child-to-work day.
The chapter’s most recent event, a panel discussion on leadership featuring Freddie Mac executives who are also Virginia Tech alumni, was held in November, drew 100 participants, and was live streamed to dozens more across Freddie Mac’s regional offices.
The event took place just hours before the university officially announced transformative news: the creation of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and with it a $2 billion investment. According to Boyd, the announcement sparked a buzz of energy and curiosity.
November 13, 2018, Virginia Tech Alumni panel at Freddie Mac in McClean, Virginia.
“Hokies (and non-Hokies) were proud that Virginia Tech played such a major role in bringing Amazon to Virginia,” Boyd said.
With a successful partnership between Virginia Tech and Freddie Mac, Boyd and his colleagues are looking for ways to build on their success. Boyd would like see other corporate chapters formed that will lead to further relationships between the companies.
Even though the Freddie Mac Chapter is the first, it won’t be the last.
Annie McCallum is the director of communications for alumni relations.