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Fresh buds on the tree branches frame the Colgate chapel on a beautiful spring morning.

Colgate University Alumni Corporation

Message from the President

Dear fellow alumni,

I am pleased to serve as the President of the Alumni Council, the Board of Directors for the Colgate University Alumni Corporation.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas you have for the university and our role as advisers.

Since 1919, the Alumni Council has represented the interests of Colgate alumni.  The 56 voting members of the Council represent each ERA, region, and demographics of the alumni body.  If you are ever interested in serving in this role, please submit your own recommendation (or for someone you believe is worthy) to the Office of Alumni Relations by September 1 every year.  I pledge that the Nominations Committee will fairly review all nominees for this important position.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Colgate and I hope to meet you personally during my term as President.  

Yours truly,
Joseph P. McGrath '85, P'15

To the Colgate community

The Alumni Council would like to express our excitement and congratulations at the selection of Brian Casey as Colgate’s 17th president. We also extend our thanks to council members Kathleen Dill ’89 and Jim Smith ’70 for their service on the Presidential Search Committee.

Kathleen and Jim are two of six Alumni Council members who also serve on the Board of Trustees. Their efforts and perspectives — actively representing the alumni body during the interview process — were invaluable.

We would also like to thank Mike Herling ’79, P’08,’10,’12, search committee chair and Board of Trustees vice chair. Mike is an Alumni Council member emeritus, and he spent time with us during our spring meeting to explain the search process. The entire 56-member council was able to give input and feedback on the important characteristics that the alumni community would like to see in Colgate’s next president.

The council is an independent nonprofit corporation, founded more than 90 years ago. Representing all eras and geographies, we meet three times a year on campus to discuss issues with university administrators, staff, faculty, and undergraduates — voicing the views of our fellow alumni in an advisory capacity even as we promote engagement between Colgate, current students, and graduates.

In conscientiously pursuing their duties, Jim, Kathleen, Mike (and, indeed, each of the 11 alumni on the 20-member committee) exemplified the determination with which all Alumni Council members fulfill the organization’s mission.

September 2015 Meeting Summary

Please read about the council’s current efforts, follow the links to additional information, and feel free to contact us — we're eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
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April 10–12, 2015, the Alumni Council met in Hamilton for its third meeting of the 2014–2015 academic year. The Board of Trustees meeting, Parents Steering Committee meeting, the annual Konosioni Auction, and the very successful Entrepreneur Weekend also took place that weekend. The council's work was conducted through its committees and through meetings of the entire council. A summary of the council's work appears below.

Joint committee meeting with Parents Steering Committee
Professor Mary Ann Calo (art and art history) and Anja Chavez (director of university museums) presented an overview of the new Center for Art and Culture. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer. Calo described the historical framework for the project, which incorporates art and anthropology, while Chavez discussed the architect and the educational opportunities for Colgate. The university’s anthropology and fine art collections – 27,000 objects in total – will be combined in the David Adjaye-designed building. Alumni and parents shared feedback on the design and discussed the integration with the village of Hamilton.

Michael Sciola, AVP and Director of Career Services, introduced the approved plan for a new career services building on campus. The new building will be located adjacent to La Casa and the OUS office (former French and Italian House), and it will accommodate a staff of 17 as well as event spaces, indoor and outdoor meeting space, virtual interview space, etc.

Career services is working to engage students as early as possible — 92 percent of all students have visited the center so far this year, compared to 85 percent last year at this time. The center has offered more than 200 programs and thousands of individual opportunities for undergraduates this year.

Sciola described three new professional networks coming in FY16: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), consulting, and communications/media. This year, the professional networks hosted more than 30 events, involving more than 700 Colgate community members. Asked how alumni can help, Sciola responded, “recruit, refer, and resource!”

Communications Committee meeting
Vice President of Communications Rachel Reuben discussed improvements in communicating with alumni. The committee discussed ways to share what they learn with fellow alumni, and Reuben offered regular space in ’Gateline, the monthly e-newsletter, for messages and updates from the Alumni Council.

District Clubs Committee
Tim Seamans ’02, chair of the District Clubs Committee, reviewed the quarterly club leadership calls, which covered the following issues: district clubs vacancies, Volunteer Summit (fall meeting) planning and suggestions, the awards selection process, and suggestions for the annual club summary.

University Relations Committee
Christina Khan, director of International Student Services, presented to the committee on the support her office provides for 262 international students from 42 countries. In less than 10 years, the international population at Colgate has more than doubled. Her office provides support with cultural adjustment and offers programs and activities. They are currently preparing for an increase in international student enrollment, and they are designing and creating additional programs.

After Khan’s presentation, committee chair Bart Hale ’04 led a discussion on services and support that alumni offer to students and how they are recorded. The committee also discussed how the Alumni Council could support first-generation or international students while they are at Colgate.

Bicentennial planning
Jim Smith ’71, alumni trustee, offered an overview of the university’s bicentennial planning. Scheduled for 2018–2019, the celebration will include a conference, traveling exhibit, digital archives, Reunion, and the second edition of the book History of Colgate. Smith is part of a campus committee assembled to prepare the budget, programs, and needs for the bicentennial.

Presidential Search Committee update
Trustee and chair of the presidential search committee Mike Herling ’79, P’08,’10,’12 joined us and provided the Alumni Council and visiting parents with an overview of the search process. Herling described the primary attributes for candidates, the search consultants, and expected timeline.

State of the ’Gate
Director of Athletics Vicky Chun ’91 discussed a variety of topics about her department, including the 98-percent graduation rate and Colgate’s national ranking. She also discussed the new athletics facility, which is on budget and on time for an October 2016 opening. Asked about Reid Athletic Center, Chun offered a wish list of changes and upgrades, including an exterior face lift that fits with the design of campus, practice facilities for basketball and volleyball, additional multi-purpose indoor space, backfilling offices and locker-room spaces.
Chun also described the ever increasing competitiveness in NCAA Division 1 athletics, e.g. the Big 10 and Pac-12 are adding men’s and women’s ice hockey teams and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.

Andrew Coddington, AVP and director of planned giving, gave an overview of the Willow Society. Their goal is 130 new members, targeting demographics of 25th Reunion year and older. He also described a new funding campaign called “Choose your Cause,” which allows alumni to connect their Colgate gift to philanthropic interests. 

Dean of Admission Gary Ross ’77 presented an overview of the accepted Class of 2019, and Vice President of Finance and Administration Brian Hutzley joined the Alumni Council to announce the disappointing but humane decision no longer to have swans in Taylor Lake. Colgate’s decision comes as a result of new draft regulations from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

President Jeffrey Herbst
On Sunday, President Herbst joined the Alumni Council for his last meeting as university president. Terry Egler ’77, alumni council president, presented Herbst with a certificate of appreciation for his leadership at Colgate. Herbst reflected on his five years as president and discussed his aspirations for Colgate in the future.

General session
During the general session open discussion, Pat Apelian ’76 gave an overview of her new committee on intellectual engagement. Christian Teeter ’95 will co-chair this committee with Apelian during the next fiscal year.

Robert Fawcett ’91 provided the council with an update on his task force on best practices. He summarized a conference call he had with 22 other alumni volunteers from 12 other institutions to discuss effective alumni boards.

Co Bertsche ’63, legal counsel, reviewed several edits to the council bylaws (distributed in advance to members). All revisions were approved and will be posted publicly on the Alumni Council website shortly.

The Alumni Council

  • A group of 56 alumni leaders who reflect the diversity of the alumni body and its opinions, spanning graduate eras and geographic regions. Read more about the council structure and bylaws.

  • Elected in recognition of exemplary volunteerism, devotion, and consistent financial support to Colgate. Find out more about the nominations and elections process

  • Charged with leading the university’s alumni association, formerly known as the Alumni Corporation.

  • This council is separate from the Board of Trustees, which is entrusted with overseeing the governance of the university. 

  • Six members of the Alumni Council also serve as alumni trustees on the Board of Trustees to provide council perspective and facilitate communication between the two groups. 

  • Please review the IRS 990 form for 2013 here.
Building on a recently completed strategic planning process, the Alumni Council will focus this year on:
  • Expanding communications with alumni 
  • Connecting more effectively with volunteers 
  • Implementing strategic initiatives in collaboration with University programs 
  • Developing an assessment tool to evaluate the Council’s impact
Learn how you can get involved at Colgate!
The mission of the Alumni Council is to: 
  • Support the university and its strategic plan, helping to advance and secure Colgate’s position as a leading liberal arts university, while preserving Colgate’s core values and traditions.
  • Promote dialogue among alumni, students, faculty, administration, and the Board of Trustees on issues of importance to the welfare of the university.
  • Actively support programs, on and off campus, to increase alumni engagement in the life of the university.
Meetings and Summaries
Winter Meeting of the Alumni Council, January 15 - 17, 2015
January 2015 Meeting Summary
January 2015 Meeting Minutes

Fall Meeting of the Alumni Council, October 9 - 11, 2014
October 2014 Meeting Summary
October 2014 Meeting Minutes

Annual Meeting of the Alumni Council - At Reunion 2014
2014 Annual Meeting Minutes

Spring Meeting of the Alumni Council, April 11 - 13, 2014
April 2014 Meeting Summary
April 2014 Meeting Minutes

Winter Meeting of the Alumni Council, January 17 - 18, 2014
January 2014 Meeting Summary
January 2014 Meeting Minutes

Fall Meeting of the Alumni Council, September 6 - 8, 2013
September 2013 Meeting Summary
September 2013 Meeting Minutes

Annual Meeting of the Alumni Council - At Reunion 2013
2013 Annual Meeting Minutes

Spring Meeting of the Alumni Council, April 13 - 14, 2013
April 2013 Meeting Summary
April 2013 Meeting Minutes

Winter Meeting of the Alumni Council, January 18 - 19, 2013
January 2013 Meeting Summary
January 2013 Meeting Minutes

Fall Meeting of the Alumni Council, September 14 - 15, 2012
September 2012 Meeting Summary
September 2012 Meeting Minutes

Annual Meeting of the Alumni Council 2012 - At Reunion 2012
2012 Annual Meeting Minutes

Spring Meeting of the Alumni Council, April 14-15, 2012
April 2012 Meeting Summary
April 2012 Meeting Minutes

Winter Meeting of the Alumni Council, January 20-21, 2012
January 2012 Meeting Summary

Minutes for meetings held prior to January, 2012 may be obtained by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 315-228-7433

Meeting Calendar

Below you will find the Alumni Corporation Board of Directors meeting schedule through 2017.
September 18–19
Hamilton, New York
Colgate vs. Yale (Homecoming)
January 15 - 16 Hamilton, New York
April 9 - 10 Hamilton, New York
*June 4 - annual meeting Hamilton, New York
October 7 - 8
Hamilton, New York
(new date)
January 20 - 21
Hamilton, New York
April 8 - 9
Hamilton, New York
*June 3 - annual meeting Hamilton, New York
October 9 - 10
Hamilton, New York
(Colgate vs. Bucknell)
*Council members are not required to attend the Annual Meeting. Those on campus for Reunion are encouraged to attend.

Online Archives

Meeting minutes and other information about the proceedings of the Alumni Corporation and the Alumni Council.

Call for Nominations

The nominations committee of the Alumni Council seeks recommendations for additional candidates to be considered this fall, and to start with the 2014/2015 school year. Each year, 11 to 13 new members are selected to represent specific eras and geographic areas as well as at-large positions.
Ideal Qualities
  • Varied Colgate volunteer service, especially in leadership roles
  • A demonstrated commitment to Colgate over time
  • Meaningful personal or professional accomplishments or contributions to the greater community
  • Readiness and willingness to become more involved on behalf of the university
  • A consistent history of giving financial support to Colgate
If you know someone who demonstrates these qualities, or if you would like to self-nominate, please mail or e-mail your nominations by Sept. 1, 2015, to:

Tim Mansfield, executive secretary
Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346

Please include a supporting statement for each person you nominate.