Does your program engage its alumni regularly throughout the year? If not, why not? If so, in what ways?
Alumni-engagement efforts should to be thought of as long term and ongoing. If they can become a regular part of the activities within your program—things that students and alumni come to expect each year—then that will be beneficial to the program in the long run.
Student alumni-engagement efforts will be more successful when they have a clear purpose.
On-campus visits by program alumni or gatherings for program alumni: Organize, for example, a panel of alumni discussing careers outside the academy, or how to get your first book published, or various paths to that tenure-track job, or post-doctorates. Invite alumni to events within your department. (For example, an awards ceremony, a lecture, or a holiday party. These events could be specifically for alumni, but they don’t have to be. Either way, you should send alumni an invitation geared specifically to them.)
Off-campus gatherings with program alumni: Organize, for example, a gathering for faculty and students attending a conference in your field and invite any alumni attending the conference, or living in the area, to meet you there. Someone in your program would need to make a general announcement about this gathering to the alumni, for example, via email. The gathering could also be announced in a newsletter. It would be helpful for someone in your program to look through the list of presenters and conference organizers to see if any alumni from your program are listed, and then extend more personal invitation to them. This kind of gathering could be at a pub or restaurant near the conference, or it could center around coffee on a morning before the conference events got started. You could also organize off-campus, more-social events for the department here in the City, and include alumni in the list of invitees. (For example, a gathering at a nearby pub, or tickets to see a play or attend a concert.)
Bulletin board: Is there a bulletin board or some other area for announcement in you program offices where alumni news and achievements could be posted/celebrated? If not, might this be put in place? If it is in place, is the information current?
Alumni Bulletin Board in the Sociology Program Lounge