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New Alumni Advisory Committees Introduced

Alumni volunteers wear many hats in working for the Association and the Institute. A few new hats were thrown into the ring this summer, as the Association established a pilot program of five alumni-advisory groups for alumni activities. Groups of 15 to 20 alumni volunteers will advise and serve the association in the areas of the Alumni Travel Program, Classes and Reunions, Graduate Alumni, Young Alumni, and Alumni Clubs.

Members of these five committees will work with the Association staff in their respective areas. Advisory groups are expected to assist the Association in evaluating existing programs, communicating alumni preferences and interests, and cultivating other alumni volunteers.

“We are looking to build partnerships with our volunteers in building programs and services that we provide for the entire alumni community,” says Rosemarie Resnik, director of alumni activities and geographic programs. “These committees will be a tremendous resource.”

Members of the new committees were drawn from a diverse pool of volunteers representing a cross section of the alumni population. “In order for these committees to be successful, they needed to include alumni who were both undergraduate and graduate students, male and female, from all different courses, a variety of class years, and a variety of geographic and cultural backgrounds,” says Resnik.

One committee that has already begun contributing is the Alumni Travel Program advisory group, which was up and running in the fall of 2001. “Our travel program has really benefited from having alumni input,” says Resnik. “They have helped us make decisions on which trips to offer, how to market the trips to other alumni, and how to better structure our Web travel pages.”

The committees met for the first time at the Alumni Leadership Conference in September, and many will convene again in the spring of 2003. Association staff in the respective areas will also be in continual contact and communication with the volunteers on a more informal basis. Advisory group members will serve either two- or three-year terms, which are staggered to rotate membership evenly.

“These committees help give a broader range of alumni a voice in what goes on with their association and the Institute,” says Resnik. “Reunions, clubs, and alumni travel are some of the most popular alumni programs. Graduate alumni will soon encompass a majority of the alumni population. Our young alumni encompass the future leaders of the Association and the Institute. These advisory groups and the feedback they provide will be central to all we can accomplish in the coming years.”

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