Ralph Amos, an alumni relations and outreach professional with more than 25 years of experience in the field, has been named as Caltech’s assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the Caltech Alumni Association (CAA). His official start date will be January 29, 2020.
“Caltech’s influence in the world depends markedly and extensively on the achievements of our alumni,” says Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum. “Ralph Amos has the vision and the experience to connect Caltech and its graduates for an even more vibrant and fulfilling future.”
As head of the CAA, which is part of the Institute’s Advancement and Alumni Relations group, Amos will lead the charge in fostering a deepening relationship with Caltech’s 24,000-plus living alumni worldwide. His recruitment to Caltech is part of an ongoing effort to bring added emphasis and focus to this effort.
“Ralph is a recognized leader in this field, a forward thinker about the future of alumni relations,” says Dexter Bailey, Caltech’s vice president for advancement and alumni relations. “He is going to take the lead as we build a program for Caltech alumni based on the interests and needs of Caltech alumni.”
Most recently, Amos was president and CEO of Purdue University’s Alumni Relations group, which serves a seven-campus system with more than 600,000 alumni and 68,000 alumni association members. Before working at Purdue, Amos was vice president for the University System of Maryland Foundation; assistant vice chancellor of the division of external affairs at UCLA and chief executive officer of the UCLA Alumni Association; assistant vice president of alumni relations at Ohio University; and assistant vice president of membership marketing and constituent societies at The Ohio State University.
Bailey notes that Amos’s decades of experience with these large universities puts him in a unique position at Caltech to “design a new model for alumni relations in the United States. And what better place to do that than at one of the premier institutions in the nation?”
“Our goal is ultimately to engage the hearts and minds of our alumni,” adds Amos, “so they remain connected to and have a relationship with Caltech along their life course. But it has to be a bidirectional relationship. My approach is to meet the alumni at least halfway, if not more. If we want them to remain engaged with Caltech, we have to ask: What can we do so that our alumni can live more successful, meaningful lives?”
Amos has a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from The Ohio State University and Master of Public Administration from Ohio University, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in higher education administration.
“Ralph Amos is widely regarded as a visionary and an industry leader in alumni relations and alumni engagement,” says Chris Bryant (BS ’95), president of the CAA. “He stood out for us as a candidate because it was clear he would bring his immense talents to bear on behalf of our alumni and create a uniquely Caltech alumni experience. With Ralph’s leadership we look forward to the CAA becoming a hallmark of excellence in alumni relations, on par with all of Caltech’s endeavors.”
Amos has been a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) throughout his career, and has served on CASE’s Committee on Opportunity and Equity and Commission on Alumni Relations. He was awarded CASE’s Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, a recognition of his “outstanding performance” as part of CASE’s international education programs, and given their District V Distinguished Service Award.
In addition, Amos has been a member of the CASE International Board of Trustees and the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship Advisory Board.
“By its nature, and by its research and inquiry, Caltech leans forward,” Amos adds. “It’s a catalyst in society. Its alumni effort needs to be the same.”