From Aggie Muster to Graduation, The Association of Former Students Went Virtual

The New Norm for Digital Film Tools

When it comes to college alumni associations, The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University is a pretty big deal. Since it was founded in 1879, The Association has provided continued support to Texas A&M and Texas Aggies. It has also produced well over half a million former students, with its current alumni literally spanning the globe. And when you’re that big, it’s no easy feat to connect your community. 

It makes sense then that The Association would tap User-Generated Content (UGC) and take advantage of the advanced smartphone tech to gather authentic content from around the world. And since 2018, The Association has leveraged Cinebody to successfully achieve that. 

Whether it was for capturing big events, aggregating content for social videos, and most importantly Aggie Ring Day celebrations (a very, very big deal for Aggies), the ease and accessibility of the software made collecting and editing the content a quick and effortless procedure. 




So when the pandemic hit in March, while almost every other college was struggling to figure out how to connect their alumni, The Association already had the solution. 

No Film Crews. No Travel. No Problem for the Aggies. 

Those restrictions are tough to overcome, especially when the primary way you’re connecting people around the world is through video footage. But The Association had already been creating authentic content without the need for film crews, costly equipment rentals, and expensive travel. It was a logical next-step to simply use the software for those strengths it had already demonstrated. 

“Utilizing Cinebody for the content we needed to keep our community connected really was a no-brainer,” said Randy Reyes, Director of Marketing for The Association. “Onboarding members is as simple as clicking a link, and with the phones everyone has on them 24/7 these days, it wasn’t a big ask to get our former students to film themselves and their stories. Let’s be honest, most of us are doing that every day anyway!”

Content created using Cinebody included some friendly words of thanks from the alumni, and some longer form pieces (up to 2 and a half hours) that prove UGC isn’t just about gathering a few quick clips for some social media posts. 

For example, the annual Aggie Muster is of tremendous importance to the Aggie Network. This is when the names of alumni who have passed are read aloud in ceremonies held around the world. Despite not being able to attend it in person, the combination of live-streaming and content captured via Cinebody made it a huge success. And just as special is the All-Aggie Grad Party, which enlisted Aggie musicians to sing and perform, and once again leveraged UGC to take it to the next level.



If The Association Can Do It, Why Can’t Any College or Alumni Association?

Good question right? And the answer is, they can. Both the University of Central Florida and Rutgers University have already taken advantage of Cinebody, with impressive results. And due to the simplicity of the software set-up, the auto-upload and easy file-management system, and the ability to upload multiple file types (Zoom and computer recordings, Go-Pros, and even drones), it’s easy to produce professional results without ever needing a film crew. 

So the big question isn’t really if other colleges will use it, but when. And with this pandemic looking to stick around for quite a while, that will probably be sooner than later.