Advancement Technology delivers new alumni mentoring site

July 9, 2020

In April, The Enterprise Applications, Advancement Technology team helped launch “Cross Campus”, Yale’s new mentoring, networking, and community-building website that enables online connections and advice from alumni to recent alumni and alumni to students.

Screenprint of Cross Campus website homepage

“We envision this as a game-changer for connecting alumni with students and with each other,” said Weili Cheng ’77, executive director of the Yale Alumni Association, which launched Cross Campus and oversees its administration. “Cross Campus offers an online platform where Yalies can come together in the spirit of collaboration and engagement, to provide advice and guidance and to help each other through career and professional and personal transitions.”

There was conversation about delaying the launch of Cross Campus due to COVID-19. But in the end, the decision was made that launching an online community platform at a time of social distancing made more sense than ever—offering a way for alumni and students to connect at a time when connecting is harder than ever.

“These are tough times,” said Steve Blum ’74, senior director of strategic initiatives for the YAA. “In many ways, Yalies need each other more than ever right now. And while we cannot assemble physically, we can connect virtually, either by establishing mentor-mentee relationships, connecting for one-off advice, or joining groups with common interests. Cross Campus allows for all three.” And Blum added, “therein lies the beauty of this new online community”.

Cross Campus achieved its three-month goal of 5,000 members in a mere eight days. And just ten weeks after launch, more than 11,000 Yalies have joined the platform, including approximately 3,000 students and 8,000 alumni from Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and each of Yale’s 12 professional schools.

The site, is a SaaS application powered by PeopleGrove and is sourced from “Hopper”, Yale’s Blackbaud CRM database. In addition to delivering on new capabilities, the launch of Cross Campus allowed for the Yale Career Network site to be shut down.