Penn State students who earn their degrees online have a new way to connect with their fellow graduates across the University community.

The University has begun the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society, an organization within the Penn State Alumni Association that will provide a way for World Campus alumni to meet and network with graduates from other colleges and campuses.

The new society’s first activity will be an online networking event from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, November 12. Alumni will choose a virtual meeting room to network, and they will be paired up with other alumni for several eight-minute, text-based conversations to connect, exchange contact information, and build their professional networks.

With the addition of the World Campus Alumni Society, each of the University’s 24 campuses now has a formal alumni organization. The World Campus Alumni Society has more than 4,200 members.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society into the fabric of the Penn State Alumni Association,” said Roger Williams, executive director of the Alumni Association. “The Alumni Association and World Campus have forged a strong partnership, and this is the latest expression of how well this partnership is working.”

The creation of the World Campus Alumni Society is a milestone for online learners at Penn State, said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education.

"Over the history of the World Campus, we have found that our World Campus graduates are deeply interested in joining the Alumni Association,” Weidemann said. “The establishment of the World Campus Alumni Society allows our graduates to utilize the vast resources of the Penn State Alumni Association to network with fellow alumni. It’s another way for them to continue and strengthen their connection to the University community.”

The alumni society will be governed by a 14-member board. Judy Brague Deacon, a 2011 alumna who earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology through World Campus, said board members will plan events and programs to strengthen alumni connections and benefit current World Campus students.

“We know that when you’re earning your degree online, you have a different connection to the University,” Deacon said. “We think this is another way to enhance the Penn State experience.”

The alumni society is open to any World Campus graduate who is a member of the Alumni Association.

For more information about joining the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society and the November 12 networking event, visit the alumni society's website.