The Colgate Scene
September 2003

Alumni affairs

The open door policy

Merrill House, where the alumni office is housed, was once the president's home. My colleagues and I have the distinct pleasure of working in a building where the history is rich, the old wood is warm and the mural in the dining room reminds us all of our roots. It's a perfect setting for reflection upon the work we do, which at its core is about listening and talking.

As I write, I have just returned from a trip to New York City for a series of meetings among Colgate administrators, alumni leaders and groups of alumni, on a variety of topics. While one focus of discussion was Colgate's new plan for residential education, the conversations ranged far beyond.

As a witness to those meetings, I was impressed by the depth of the questions our alumni asked. Their questions led to conversations that could leave a significant impact on Colgate's bold vision for the future. I was struck by the fact that, no matter where each individual stood on an issue, I was watching Colgate people having a serious discussion about something they cared about deeply.

I was also reminded that our alumni -- you -- want to trust that what your alma mater is doing reflects our traditions and supports our students. Like a family, we will agree and disagree from time to time, and that trust will be tested. But ultimately, keeping the lines of communication open will help keep the institution strong.

The doors of Merrill House are always open to any member of the Colgate community who would like to talk, question, vent, congratulate or just say hello. Keep the conversation going in true Colgate style, and know that you are welcome in Merrill House any time.

Robin Summers '90

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