The Colgate Scene
January 2007

Alumni Corporation Board

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 more.

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 serve.

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 nominated.

For more information about the alumni board and ways to volunteer for Colgate, visit or contact the alumni office at 315-228-7433.

Joanne Spigner '76
President, Alumni Corporation Board of Directors

Sarah Dyer '91
Chair, Nominations Committee

Top of page
Table of contents
<< Previous: People on the go Next: Around the college >>