The Colgate Scene
November 2004

Alumni affairs

Colgate has been rolling out the ambitious strategic plan adopted by the trustees last fall. President Chopp and her team have backed the broad strategic goals with a comprehensive action plan including timetables, responsibility, and cost estimates. In my view, it's working — there is a real sense of motion and energy about Colgate right now.

Alumni can do a lot to help with Colgate's strategic plan. That's not just a euphemism for writing a check, although giving to the Annual Fund and other initiatives is essential.

Beyond making a gift, how can we contribute to Colgate's progress over the next few years?

I often tell new members of the Alumni Corporation Board of Directors that the strength of Colgate's alumni community requires many more small actions and interactions than it does grand plans. Get involved, meet people, help a student . . . it's not complicated. Here are a few suggestions about things that all Colgate alumni could do to help the university in the next five years:

  • Go to the website and read the strategic plan. Or read the presentation in the recent Report to Donors. Send a note to the president or a staff member with your comments.
  • Recommend a highly qualified student. If you live outside Colgate's traditional student recruitment area in the Northeast, recommend two. Colgate is becoming more of a national — and international — university, but the admissions staff can only cover so much ground.
  • Offer an internship, invite students to shadow you at work, come back to campus to speak about your career, or call the career services office to ask how you can help. Offer the Colgate Connection to a smart, talented student.
  • Attend a Colgate event in your area. Are there cities away from home where you travel frequently on business? Ask to get the Colgate club mailings for that city and meet some new Colgate people in your travels.
  • Send a story idea to the Scene. You might have a friend or classmate with a great story to tell. Send a note to your class editor about what you've been up to.
  • Read books by Colgate professors. I never took classes with Fred Busch — my mistake — but I have enjoyed reading Girls, The Night Inspector, Memory of War, and his other works.
  • Get involved with your house if you're a member of a fraternity or sorority. The Alumni Corporation and the AIFSC held a leadership weekend in late August (see Alumni-student conference addresses Greek issues), and one of the messages we heard from students was their interest in having more alumni take an active role in the houses.
  • Take a course. Class size is limited, but alumni can take an asynchronous learning course called The Advent of the Atomic Bomb with talented geology professor Karen Harpp, for example.
  • Write a letter to a Colgate professor or staff person who had an impact on your experience.
  • Make plans to go back to Colgate for a reunion, a fall weekend, a hockey game, or just to meet a friend, grab coffee at the Barge, and take a walk around.

RuthAnn Loveless MA'72 and the staff in the alumni affairs office (315-228-7433; can answer questions about these or any other ideas you have about getting involved in Colgate. Or e-mail me at These suggestions aren't new or dramatic, but it's the little things that add up, and if all 27,000 of us pitch in, we will play an important role in Colgate's progress.

Scott Meiklejohn '77
President, Alumni Corporation Board of Directors

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