Last spring's alumni board elections elicited questions about the nominations
process. While we are in the midst of nominating new directors, we thought this
was a timely opportunity to address some of those questions.
How are alumni board candidates selected?
The board's nominations committee reviews an annual pool of more than
250 nominated alumni for era, regional, and at-large positions. Committee
members receive candidate profiles, and individually review and rate each
according to specific selection criteria (discussed below), in advance of their
fall and winter meetings.
At the fall meeting, the committee reviews every candidate and culls the list
to the strongest pool across eras and geography. At the winter meeting, the
committee reviews the list, taking into account any new candidates and
selecting the final slate that best meets the board's criteria. The committee
makes its recommendations to the full board for approval in January, and the
slate is presented to alumni in the March Scene.
What are the selection criteria?
The most important qualification is alumni volunteer service to Colgate.
Other criteria are: consistent annual financial support; demonstration of one
or more features that would add different talents and perspectives, including
profession, community service, gender, race, era, and area of residence; and
service to the world beyond Colgate. These criteria align with the board's role
as a service and advisory group (rather than policymaking, which is the
responsibility of Colgate's Board of Trustees) and results in a membership with
diverse views and experiences.
How is volunteer service defined?
Any and all types of alumni service are considered, the most preferred
being leadership positions and involvement in multiple activities. Directors
have been leaders of regional clubs; chairs of admissions, fundraising, and
reunion programs; class editors; active with Greek-letter alumni chapters, a
cappella groups, athletics boosters, and career services programs; and
Do you need to be a "big donor" to get on the board?
No. Consistency, not amount, of financial support is seen as a
demonstration of commitment to Colgate's future.
What type of commitment does board service require?
Directors are expected to regularly attend three meetings in Hamilton
each year, and to participate on board committees and projects during their
four-year terms. Directors pay their own travel and lodging expenses to attend
meetings; subsidies are provided for those who could not otherwise afford to
How can I or someone I know be considered by the nominations committee?
Send a candidate's name (your own or another's) to
the alumni office. A brief note about interest and qualifications is helpful.
Because there are more qualified candidates each year than open positions to
fill, individuals are sometimes considered over multiple years before being
For more information about the alumni board and ways to volunteer for Colgate,
or contact the alumni office at 315-228-7433.
Joanne Spigner '76
President, Alumni Corporation Board of Directors
Sarah Dyer '91
Chair, Nominations Committee