The Colgate Scene
November 2005

Alumni affairs
 

When first-year students arrived on campus this fall, they likely knew the many benefits their Colgate experiences would bring -- the curriculum, faculty, campus, size, and even the winter weather. What students probably don't yet fully recognize is the bonus of an alumni community with a lifelong connection to Colgate and Colgate students.

This connection is something that the Alumni Corporation Board of Directors takes seriously. When the 55 members of the board return for meetings three times a year, we invest time in staying close to the pulse of campus life, offer coaching and mentoring support to students, and seek ways for even more alumni to be involved with undergraduates.

Even before arriving on campus for this year's meetings, board members were actively engaged with students. This summer, current and former alumni board members organized and hosted receptions for rising seniors in NYC, Boston, and Washington D.C. The turnout was strong and the energy was high as students shared stories of their summer experiences and their hopes and questions about life after Colgate. Other alumni returned to campus in August to participate in a leadership institute offered to students prior to the start of the semester.

For our September meeting, many board members arrived early to attend a networking reception with more than 100 students who came to practice their mingling skills and put a human face to the concept of the "alumni." The next day Broad Street residents hosted us on a tour of their homes and, at the end of the tour, we gathered for conversation and dinner with more than 50 Broad Street student leaders. Alumni board members also found time to lead career workshops, conduct mock interviews, visit their fraternities and sororities, or share a late night pizza slice with students downtown.

At our upcoming meeting in January, the alumni board will be joined by an additional 40 alumni for Real World, a two-day career conference attended by hundreds of seniors. Our spring meeting, not yet planned, will likely include more opportunities to interact with more students.

By the end of the year, we will have met hundreds of Colgate students. It's not surprising that students benefit from these interactions. They get concrete advice -- and even the occasional job lead. They also learn that alumni are accessible, friendly, and ready to help. They gain a sense of Colgate history, including what has changed and how much has stayed the same, and they see that Colgate ties extend in many different ways beyond their four years on campus.

I sometimes think we benefit more than the students. We, too, gain a sense of Colgate history and learn a lot from the students' experiences. We are energized by our interactions and proud of how well they represent Colgate. We are reminded of how much our own Colgate experiences are woven through our own lives. And we are able to let students know that we are only a few of the thousands of alumni who are available to provide help and who would enjoy meeting and getting to know them.

Many of you share our board's connections to students as volunteers, as active alumni in student groups, as employers who hire interns and graduates, as parents and grandparents of students, and in myriad other creative ways. Thanks to all of you who stay connected through this important pipeline to Colgate's future -- today's students, tomorrow's alumni. For more information about how you can be involved, contact RuthAnn Loveless MA'72, vice president for alumni affairs, at 315-228-7433 or RLoveless@mail.colgate.edu.

Joanne Spigner '76
President, Alumni Corporation Board of Directors

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