Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

6003

Date

2017

Date of Award

7-18-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Higher and Adult Education

Concentration

Higher Education

Committee Chair

Jeffery Wilson

Committee Member

Donna Menke

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

Justin Lawhead

Abstract

This study sought to understand how alumni members from a small, private university in the southern region of the United States experienced campus rituals during their college career as well as currently engage with the institution via rituals post-graduation. The following central research question guided the inquiry in an effort to describe the essence of alumni participation at Southern Liberal Arts University (SLAU): in what ways do alumni perceive the importance of campus rituals in both the student and alumni experience? This study utilized a social constructivist lens adopting a phenomenological approach to qualitative analysis including the use of interviews, artifact analysis, and non-participant observations to address the research questions. Themes that emerged from this inquiry include three ways in which rituals explain the SLAU community: a) characterization through rituals, b) attachments due to rituals, and c) values shown through rituals. This research lends verification to the idea that rituals are a viable way to more strongly encourage alumni activity.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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