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MIT Alumni Association president Harbo Jensen, PhD ‘74, had plenty of good news to report at the Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC) at MIT in September. Record fund-raising dollars and participation. An MIT building designated as a future alumni center. The second women’s leadership conference. New clubs and affinity groups. A local club activity that spawned the California Clean Tech Open. The new MIT Enterprise Forum Innovation Accelerator grant.

More than 400 alumni volunteers from 28 states and five countries returned to campus for the Alumni Association’s annual weekend of networking and workshops, including “How to Be a Class Webmaster,” “Building Effective FSILG Advisory Boards,” “Web 2.0 Tools,” and “Persuasive Communication.” (Presentations online: alum.mit.edu/ne/alc/presentations.html.) Alumni also had a chance to get a dose of Charm School and Speed Networking before attending a festive reception at the MIT Museum’s new Innovation Gallery and a Leadership Awards Dinner fêting alumni winners.

This year’s ALC theme, “Learn, Share, and Practice: Foundations of MIT,” came to life as volunteers described sharing their MIT expertise in their local communities. The MIT Club of Boston held science demonstrations and a Science Trivia Challenge at the Cambridge Science Festival. The Club of Hartford launched a colloquium that spurred seven local teachers to attend the MIT Science and Engineering Program for Teachers. The Club of Northern California’s Clean Technology Program was the catalyst for the California Clean Tech Open, a statewide competition.

ALC celebrates contributions from more than 9,000 volunteers who serve through activities such as interviewing prospective students, organizing class reunions, hosting student externs, and encouraging gifts to MIT. Last year, 33,332 alumni contributed $41,993,372 to the Institute.

“The ALC themes remind us that all of us, all of the time, are both students and teachers,” said President Susan Hockfield. “You are the information army–you convey how an MIT education can change a life and how that life can change the world.”

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Credit: Chris Brown

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