What does "Alumni" actually mean?
The term alumnus is derived from Latin language and means as much as pupil or foster son. The masculine plural form is alumni, the corresponding feminine form alumna or alumnae as feminine plural form. The word stem origin alere / alo means feeding, raising, bringing up. The fact that the university is referred to as Alma mater, meaning something like feeding mother, reflects a (mutual) relationship between the university as institution and the alumnus as beneficiary.
It was mainly the Anglo-American area where the term alumni was established for both, male and female graduates and former students of higher education institutions. Still, it is also used for former staff members of universities and other institutions and companies there. In German language, the term Alumni is increasingly used for university graduates, but does not have exactly the same meaning as alumni stands for technical, but also administrative and academic staff, while graduates are only those who finish their studies with an academic degree.
What’s the use of alumni work?
The University of Rostock will have its 600th anniversary in 2019. This year shall be intensively used for informing alumni about developments at the university and involving them into numerous planned events. The alumni portal where alumni may register serves as database that enables communication and human relations with alumni.
Independent alumni associations have been established at single institutes or faculties over the past years, which particularly mind their own graduates, proving congenial closeness and expertise.
In addition, there are societies of friends and sponsors who have committed themselves supporting and do also - but not exclusively - rely on former students here.