The Colgate Scene
January 2008

Alumni Corporation Board News
Board gets new name, sets goals in motion
 

After a year-long strategic planning process, the Alumni Corporation Board of Directors (the 55-member governing body of Colgate's Alumni Corporation) approved in September several important improvements to our mission, structure, and governance — as well as a name change.

We've renamed ourselves the "Colgate Alumni Council" to better reflect our advisory role and to help clarify any identity confusion with the university's Board of Trustees.

There were many reasons for the council to engage in strategic planning: to explore ways to expand opportunities that connect alumni with the university and one another, to further emphasize our goal to improve communication about Colgate to alumni, and, more importantly, alumni views to Colgate, and to better tell Colgate's story worldwide — not to mention that the board's structure had not been reexamined by its members for more than 20 years.

Among the highlights of the Colgate Alumni Council's plan are a refined mission and a set of clear goals:

Mission: To actively enrich the relationship between Colgate and its alumni and to advance Colgate's success. We have determined that our critical success factors will be to maximize inclusiveness, maintain transparency in process, encourage ongoing dialogue, report in a timely manner, and seek continuous improvement.
Communications: To promote effective communication by clearly conveying the council's mission and purpose, ambitions, perspectives, and actions, and to solicit feedback and perspectives from alumni at large.
Connectedness: To improve and expand opportunities for engagement among alumni, students, and others. We hope to hold open meetings (at both the committee and full council level) where non-council members with expertise and/or different perspectives will be invited to join in discussions whenever practical. These gatherings would be in addition to existing activities such as regional alumni club meetings, reunion, Real World, and student mentoring. We will reach out to Colgate's volunteer leaders for advice about new opportunities for alumni to become involved with the university.
Action and Activity: To revise the charters of each standing committee to reflect ambitions for activities that support the council's mission and its critical success factors.

In January, the council will organize and host a volunteer summit (at the same time as Real World 2008), during which Colgate's alumni leaders, such as district club officers and fundraising and affinity group volunteers, will help shape new and better ways to enhance our connectedness and communication goals.

The council extends sincere thanks to Paul Bradley '67, a highly respected strategic planning professional, who facilitated this process, and to our dedicated planning committee of current and past board members.

We welcomed 11 new council members this fall, elected on the basis of their prior Colgate volunteer experience, demonstrated commitment to the university, personal and professional accomplishments in their own communities, and consistent history of supporting Colgate financially. They help invigorate our already passionate, diverse, and engaged group.

We anticipate that these changes will be finalized by a vote early next year. Stay tuned for more details as your alumni council pursues its mission.

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