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As my first year as president of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation comes to an end, this column provides a wonderful opportunity to reach out to our alumni and inform you of the work of the Board of Directors. I am continually impressed by the commitment of this very dedicated and special group who provide alumni perspectives on the issues facing Colgate.
The board has adopted the theme of Lifelong Connectedness and strives to find new ways to engage our alumni in the life of the college. We are fortunate to have thousands who care about Colgate and find ways to stay connected, and we hope to expand opportunities for others.
As might be expected, this year the board studied issues of diversity on campus and heard from students, administrators and faculty. The issues are complicated and adjusting to a rural, mostly white community can be challenging at times for our students, faculty and staff of color. These same issues confront our admission staff as they work to increase the number of ALANA (African American, Latino, Asian and Native American) students on campus. We are fortunate to have an active Alumni of Color organization (AOC) that reaches out to our current students and provides mentoring for them in various ways. These relationships are extremely important and that group is determining ways to be even more involved.
One of the highlights of our January meeting was participation in Real World -- a program designed to provide information for our seniors as they prepare for life after Colgate. With the economic downturn this year, finding a job is proving a bigger challenge than in the recent past. Our board and alumni have reached out to provide support for the career services center and our students by providing job leads, internship opportunities and career advice. We also hope to find creative ways to work with our district clubs on this effort in the future. For those of you who know of career opportunities, please call the career services center at 315-228-7380 -- it's not too late!
Many of you have followed discussions in the national press about the Patriot League and athletic scholarships. While the league was founded on the principle that it would provide only need-based aid, this policy has changed over time. There is now a "permissive" practice where schools have the option of providing athletic scholarships if they wish. Colgate remains need-based, but this is a complex issue, which the alumni board is addressing and will then give input to the Board of Trustees.
As technology becomes more and more prevalent in our lives, our new Technology and Communications Committee plays a greater and more important role. Colgate is currently revamping its website and we have provided important alumni feedback to this process. In addition, our alumni site has been greatly expanded and provides wonderful services for us (including an alumni directory). If you haven't registered, I urge you to do so at: www.colgatealumni.org.
The Alumni Board continues to provide support for the Partnership for Community Development (PCD), a not-for-profit organization working to enhance the vitality of Hamilton. When you next return to the Chenango Valley you will be impressed with the incredible renovation of the downtown buildings. In addition, the PCD is working to provide support for existing small businesses and to attract new ones to the area. Let us know if you have any suggestions to help this economic revitalization.
In closing, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our "retiring" board members: Jeannette Burgos '77, Caroline Clifford '93, C. Bruce Crum '72, Kevin Danehy '83, John Donovan '52, Richard Herbst '69, Karl Maggard '65, Regina Regazzi '92, Gerald Sedam '62, Gordon Watson '62 and our legal counsel, Bob Malley '66. We are very grateful for their dedicated involvement during their tenure on the board -- Colgate and all of us have benefited from their service.
We would love to hear from you about ways the Alumni Corporation Board can best represent you. Please contact me through the alumni office at 315-228-7433 or at my e-mail address listed below. In the meantime, we hope to see you at Reunion and your local alumni club events.
Mike Martin '69
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