The Colgate Scene
May 2007

Alumni Corporation Board

I couldn't have asked for a more exciting time to serve on the alumni board, with my eight-year term capped off by two years as president. Serving on the board and getting to know many alumni, students, and administrators have deepened my appreciation for the value of a Colgate education and the passion of the Colgate community that sets our institution apart.

Throughout my board term, I've helped plan Real World, the annual January conference that offers seniors advice about careers and life after graduation. As I reflect on Real World, I realize that below the surface of the important outcomes of this, and Colgate's many other alumni outreach programs on campus, are examples of the intangible elements that make Colgate special.

  • Alumni, student, and staff collaboration — Goals and planning are jointly owned by the Senior Class Council, the Alumni Board, Career Services, the Center for Student Leadership and Involvement, and Alumni Affairs.
  • Student engagement — More than 300 seniors return early from winter break to attend panels, networking receptions, and social events with alumni and classmates.
  • Alumni commitment — 90 alumni travel to Hamilton (and complain if it isn't snowy enough to feed their winter nostalgia) to offer advice and help, and leave campus energized by their visit.
  • Shared passion for Colgate — Each year a different and diverse student and alumni mix sparks the unmistakable electricity and instant connections that emerge from shared Colgate experiences across generations.

Sarah Howie '06, describing her own Real World experience, summed it up well: "The tenth annual gathering was a testament to the continued commitment of former students to those who are beginning to find their world outside of Hamilton. This was the Colgate Connection at its best. This was Colgate showing up, and what feeds its legacy of success. Real World reaffirmed my role as a member of the Class of 2006 in that legacy, and introduced me and my classmates to the close-knit Colgate family beyond the Hamilton town limits."

As I finish this chapter of my volunteer service and open new ones, I hope that you find rewarding ways to expand your own Colgate connections. Visit the campus, get to know students, attend some of the 300-plus events sponsored by local clubs, volunteer, or (in true Colgate fashion) help create something new. I look forward to crossing paths with many of you as we enjoy our ongoing roles in sustaining Colgate's "legacy of success."

Joanne Spigner '76
President, Alumni Corporation

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