Of all the department’s representatives, alumni are among the most valuable ambassadors, helping to shape the public perception of the department’s effectiveness in carrying out its mission within the framework of the public trust. The large majority of NIU graduates remain in the Northern Illinois region, making them important contacts for internships, conduits for new students, professional mentors for current majors, and potential donors during funding-raising efforts. Thus, part of a chair’s leadership role is to encourage sustained alumni relations and the NIU Alumni Association can assist in this regard. Contact information for individual department’s alumni can be obtained through Registration and Records. Some alumni maintain contact with their favorite professors. The department’s homepage can include a focus on alumni news. And a regularly scheduled “Department Week” can provide the opportunity for current students to meet and mingle with alumni, giving the latter a chance to contribute to the ongoing life of the department.