How do you get graduates to donate to their alma mater? Develop marketing strategies that motivate them by speaking their language.

That consensus – along with some new ideas like “Texting for Tuition” that would enable alumni to make small, quick donations over their smart phones – were some of the recommendations developed last fall by Dr. Lynn Murray’s Advanced Marketing Management class, who used PSU’s new Pathways Scholarship Campaign as their most recent case study.

The class creates marketing strategies for different organizations and campaigns every semester. This year, Murray chose the Pathways campaign, which she said has energized students because it hits so close to home. Her graduate level Marketing Strategies course is also making recommendations for the campaign this semester.

In addition to creating some interesting new methods to get alumni engaged in the campaign, Murray said her students’ research uncovered a need for marketing to current students and recent graduates.

“I think the most interesting things to come out of this were the identification of current students as the target market, as well as how much these students wanted to participate in giving,” said Murray, who passed along her findings to University Development this spring. “It makes a powerful statement about what our students think of the education they’re receiving and that they’re willing to give back.”