Amber Litchford ’17 plans to forge connections with current students that she hopes will evolve into strong alumni connections in the future.
For Amber Litchford ’17, returning to campus as a staff member in Alumni and Career Services is a homecoming. “The Longwood spirit has never left me. This just feels right,” said Litchford, who is settling into her new role as program specialist for alumni engagement.
As a student, she volunteered in the community, served as an Ambassador, worked in Residence Life and was a leader in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. In 2016, she received the Moton Legacy Scholarship due in part to her passion for inspiring fellow students to help make positive changes in the world.
Her goal now is to continue inspiring students to become active and engaged alumni while also working with established alumni to strengthen their connections to Longwood. She feels that her experiences as a recent Longwood student, a new alumna and now a staff member will help her reach those goals.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
The chance to engage with alumni as well as with current students who are about to become alumni is very exciting to me. I feel that reaching out to juniors and seniors now will lead to stronger alumni connections later. I’m looking forward to getting involved on campus and becoming a face students recognize so they’ll want to interact with me after they graduate and become active alumni.
Why is it important for alumni to return to campus?
Visiting campus is the best way for alumni to connect to Longwood and to see all of the changes that have taken place. As someone who arrived on campus in 2013, I’ve seen the entire transition from the Cunninghams to Upchurch. Seeing that project come full circle has been amazing. It’s not the same to see photos on Facebook—you really need to see it in person.
Are there any programs that you’d like to see expanded?
I’m looking forward to working on the Ring Ceremony. It’s an old tradition, and it came back last year, so I’d like to make it bigger and better and develop it into a rite of passage. I also think it’s important to get younger alumni back for our on-campus celebrations so they can connect with alumni in other decades. It’s important that alumni come back to campus for the first time sooner rather than later to see what’s going on and meet the seniors who are here. It’s also a great networking opportunity for seniors who are about to graduate.
You were very involved as a student at Longwood. How will your experiences help you in this new role?
I have maintained connections with several groups that I was involved with during my time at Longwood. I’m excited to reach out to them to learn what they want from Alumni and Career Services. I’m also looking forward to connecting with my classmates and encouraging them to come back to campus.
What is your favorite Longwood tradition?
Late Night Breakfast always provided a moment to breathe before exams and laugh with friends. I always appreciated the faculty and staff members who served the breakfast, and now I hope to be that person who makes someone laugh or lets them know that it’s going to be OK. I want to be that smiling face.