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
- 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
- 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
RuthAnn Loveless MA'72 and the staff in the alumni affairs office
(315-228-7433; email@example.com) can answer questions about these or any
other ideas you have about getting involved in Colgate. Or e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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