For nearly 30 years, LGBTQIA+ Otterbein students have benefitted from the support, resources, and social interactions provided through the student organization FreeZone. But alumni connections were missing from their toolkit of resources.
The Alumni & Family Engagement team was approached by Suzanne Ashworth, professor of English and advisor to FreeZone, and James Prysock ’09, MBA’19, director of the Office of Social Justice and Activism, about starting an LGBTQIA+ alumni network. Their hope was to provide meaningful connections between alumni and students.
A series of small focus groups were held in spring 2021 that included alumni from multiple generations located throughout the United States. These alumni shared their personal experiences as students and highlighted what they hope to see in an alumni network.
A petition to formally recognize this network will go before Alumni Council in spring 2022.