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Alumni Council

The Board of Directors of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation
MOSAIC
Kelechi Oguh '08 (left) is a member of the Alumni Council. She is the Council's representative for Mosaic, which helps to develop student and alumni of color engagement to Colgate.
Career Panels
The Alumni Council is proud to be instrumental in the development of Real World and SophoMORE Connections. Each year, members of the Alumni Council participate in a variety of career panels for students.
Fundraising Efforts
The Alumni Council supports Colgate every year with 100% participation in fundraising efforts. Here, Melissa Coley ’79 (middle left) and Joe McGrath ’85 (middle right) enjoy the Presidents' Club Gala in New York City.
Inauguration
The Alumni Council was pleased to participate in the inauguration of President Brian W. Casey, Colgate's 17th President in October, 2016. Here, members join the processional.
Homecoming
The Alumni Council is a proud supporter of Colgate athletics and Homecoming Weekend. Members of the Alumni Council are frequent volunteers for students during this favorite annual weekend.

Call for Nominations

The nominations committee of the alumni council seeks recommendations for this 55-member volunteer board. Each year 11 to 13 positions are filled. See our full list of qualifications here. The awards committee also seeks nominations from the classes ending in 3 and 8 for awards to be presented at Reunion 2018. View a full list of categories. Send nominations by September 1 to Tim Mansfield, Executive Secretary, Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346.

The Alumni Council

The Alumni Council represents the more than 33,000 living members of Colgate’s alumni body. The mission of the council is to support the university and its strategic plan, promote dialogue among alumni, students, faculty, university administration and the Board of Trustees and to promote alumni engagement. The Alumni Council convenes at Colgate three times per year and is available to share updates with and hear perspectives from the alumni body year-round.
Mission
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.
Structure
The Alumni Council consists of 55 alumni leaders who are elected in recognition of exemplary volunteerism, devotion, and consistent support of Colgate. Council members reflect the diversity of the alumni body and its opinions, spanning graduate eras and geographic regions. The Council includes Era Representatives, At-Large Representatives and Regional Vice Presidents. The Council is separate from the Board of Trustees, but six members of the Alumni Council also serve as alumni trustees on the Board of Trustees and are charged with representing Council perspective and facilitating communication between the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Council.

Read more about the council structure and bylaws.

Each member of the Alumni Council participates on three of nine standing committees, including: Admissions, Advancement, Athletics, Awards, Career Initiatives, Communications, District Clubs, Intellectual Engagement, Nominations and University Relations.
History
Colgate’s Alumni Council was formed in 1919 as the Colgate University Alumni Corporation. Over the years, the Alumni Council has spearheaded and contributed to a variety of initiatives in partnership with the university including “Real World” now known as “SophoMORE Connections” and the Partnership for Community Development.

Alumni Council Members

Alumni Council members include four representatives from each graduation ERA and are considered among different geographies, gender, ethnicity, and occupation.  Most importantly, the Alumni Council members are chosen for their loyalty and service to Colgate and their ability to represent alumni interests back to the university.  

CURRENT MEMBERS

Alumni Awards

Honoring extraordinary service among Colgate alumni and friends.

AWARD WINNERS

2017–18 Goals

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

Meeting Summaries

Fall 2017 Meeting of the Alumni Council, October 12-14, 2017, 2017

The Colgate Alumni Council consists of 55 alumni nominated for their exemplary volunteer service to Colgate. Its members represent the approximately 34,000 alumni in the Colgate Alumni Corporation, and each member strives to be a "Colgate ambassador": enhancing the experience of all Colgate alumni by becoming deeply familiar with the state of the college; promoting robust communications, interesting and useful programming, and other modes of connection and engagement; and providing venues for alumni to discuss Colgate issues. Please read what the Council is working on, follow the links to additional information, and feel free to contact us: we're eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

From October 12 – 14, 2017, the Alumni Council met in Hamilton for its first meeting of the 2017–2018 academic year. The Council's work is conducted through its committees and meetings of the entire Council. Below is a summary of the Council's work.

Meeting with President Brian W. Casey
On Friday morning, the Alumni Council was pleased to welcome President Brian W. Casey who offered a presentation on his vision for Colgate University in its third century.  He examined Colgate’s history in the context of other liberal arts institutions, he discussed the challenges and successes that make Colgate distinctive, and laid the foundation for his vision.  President Casey answered questions and engaged in a productive conversation with members of the Alumni Council.  Feedback was very favorable about his presentation, his leadership, and Colgate’s future. 

Welcome and Introduction
President Melissa Coley ’79, welcomed new members to the Alumni Council: Bob Austrian ’85, Becky Bye ’02, Karl Clauss ’90, Beth DiCesare ’05, Debra Locastro ’05, Shev Martin ’08, Ian Murphy ’10, Tim O'Neill ’78, and Jon Tiktinsky ’82. 

Melissa thanked President Brian W. Casey for hosting a reception at Raab House on October 12. Ms. Coley also signaled the beginning of the Strategic Planning process for the Alumni Council, scheduled to conclude in time for the corporation’s 100th anniversary and Colgate’s Bicentennial (2019). 

Nominations Committee
Committee Chair Christian Johnson ’02 led his committee on a thorough review of the 2018 Alumni Council nominees.  During several hours of deliberation, the committee selected their final slate of nominees.  Once the nominees are notified and accept their position, their names will be published in the winter edition of the Colgate Scene. 

Awards Committee
Committee Chair Gregory Dahlberg ’98 led his committee in a discussion about the 2018 Reunion Awards.  They reviewed criteria for selection, data retrieval, and methods for the committee to vote.  Final selections will be made at the January meeting. 

Career Initiatives Committee
Committee Chair Susie Becker Gould ’03 introduced Mike Sciola, Associate Vice President of Advancement and Career Initiatives.  Mike provided an update on the construction of Benton Hall, scheduled to open in summer 2018.  He also introduced three students who were granted financial support for their summer internships.  Each student talked about their experience and appreciation for alumni donors to the internship fund and then answered questions from council members. 

District Clubs Committee
Committee Chair Kaela Mueller ’09 led her committee on a review of their annual awards for various district clubs and volunteers.  Before award selections, the committee expressed concern that Colgate is not supporting the individual alumni clubs with the same level of support that have grown to enjoy.  Ms. Mueller committed to working with the Alumni Relations Office, the Alumni Council, and district club volunteers to evolve with the changing needs of the university.  The winners of the 2016-17 District Club Awards include (by category):

Carlton O. Miller ’14 Memorial Cup for Outstanding District Club:
Gateway: Richmond, VA
Small: Chenango Valley, NY 
Medium: Seattle, WA
Large: Chicago, IL
Metro: Washington D.C.

Special recognition for sustained excellence was awarded to the London and Philadelphia, PA district clubs.  The Boston club was given special recognition for their use of technology (Square) for event payments. 

The RuthAnn Loveless MA’72 Award for Outstanding Service was awarded to Becky Bye ’02 (Denver, CO) and Adam Weber ’06 (Albany, NY). 

Advancement Committee
Committee Chair Chad Cooley ’00 introduced Jennifer Stone, Assistant Vice President of Advancement and Director of Annual Giving and Professional Networks.  Ms. Stone gave a presentation on Colgate’s annual giving rate (46%) compared with fourteen peer schools during the past several years.  She noted an upward trend in overall donors, and dollars, raised, along with Presidents’ Club membership versus peer schools who are experiencing some decline in annual giving.  She also presented advancement goals for the year ahead. 

Ms. Stone also reviewed several strategies her team uses to support the Colgate Fund and other important priorities.  They include Ring less Voicemail, Hustle, and Give Campus.  Finally, Ms. Stone answered questions and thanked the Alumni Council for serving as strong ambassadors for the Colgate Fund and annual giving. 

Intellectual Engagement Committee
Committee Chair Betsy Levine-Brown ’01 introduced three guests to her committee to review Service Learning programs and ways alumni can participate.  Ms. Krista Saleet (Director of the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education) welcomed Associate Professor April Baptiste, Assistant Professor Mike Loranty, and Assistant Professor Danny Barreto.  Each panelist spoke about their research and coursework and how they incorporate experiential and service learning into those arenas of work.  They also talked about how alumni can help augment their lectures or participate in service projects off campus and responded to questions from the council on their work. 

Athletics Committee

Committee Chair Andrew Roffe ’68 introduced Vice President and Director of Athletics Vicky Chun ’91.  Chun was joined by her Chief of Staff Ann-Marie Guglieri, and Assistant Director of Athletics for Academic Support, Angela Marathakis.  Following a presentation on programs in place to support our scholar-athletes, the panelists were asked by the Athletics Committee to address athletic scholarships, non-conference scheduling, and the relationship some athletic programs have with Greek-letter organizations. 

Rituals and Ceremonies
President Brian W. Casey introduced Mr. Barnaby Evans to the Alumni Council on Friday afternoon.  Mr. Evans is a renowned artist based in Providence, RI and is spending the year on campus as artist-in-residence during which Evans will help facilitate dialogue on how the university exercises its rituals and ceremonies.  Mr. Evans offered a presentation on how he (and others) developed a ritual incorporating fire, water, music, and culture in the formerly beleaguered city of Providence transforming it into a decades-long world-class celebration enjoyed by the entire city  The Alumni Council was asked about the Colgate torchlight ceremony and other on-campus rituals and traditions in which they participated. 

Colgate Day
Friday, October 13, marked one of the few occasions when the Alumni Council held its meeting on Colgate Day.  The Council participated in a Career Connections luncheon sponsored by the Professional Networks and Presidents’ Club to help students negotiate various career options and internship programs.  The evening ended at 13 College Street, where Council member Bob Austrian ’85 hosted the Alumni Council, student singing groups, and other visiting alumni for an enjoyable reception. 

General Session
During Executive Session, several votes were made for open ERA positions.  Andy Roffe ’68 was appointed to ERA I to fill the unexpired term of Bernie Seigel ’53 which expires in 2021.  Dr. Siegel is unable to serve his position due to personal circumstances.  C. Thomas Kunz ’72 was appointed to fill the last year of Andy Roffe’s ERA II term on the Council; As he is filling a vacancy, Mr. Kunz is eligible for consideration for his own four-year term beginning in 2018. 

During the open General Session, the spring 2017 meeting minutes were approved and each committee chair reported on their session.   

Strategic Planning
The Alumni Council has begun the process of developing a strategic plan to guide its operation. The Council last undertook a strategic planning effort approximately ten years ago. As the Alumni Council’s executive team began to examine Colgate’s current position, a broad consensus developed that it was again an appropriate time to take a fresh look at some of the fundamental questions:

  • What is the mission / essential function of the Alumni Council?
  • How does the Alumni Council organize itself and operate to fulfill that mission / function?
  • How do the directors hold themselves accountable to a standard of success?

This work is being chaired by Co Bertsche '63 and Stephen Rock '85 and supported by Kristen Fox '00, a consultant in the higher education field. During our session, the Council spent 2.5 hours developing a consensus view on its current situation and how that position fits with the views of Colgate's senior administration.

Past Meetings and Summaries
Fall 2016 Meeting of the Alumni Council, September 29 - October 1, 2016

September/October 2016 Meeting Summary

The Colgate Alumni Council consists of 55 alumni nominated for their exemplary volunteer service to Colgate. Its members represent the approximately 34,000 alumni in the Colgate Alumni Corporation, and each member strives to be a "Colgate ambassador": enhancing the experience of all Colgate alumni by becoming deeply familiar with the state of the college; promoting robust communications, interesting and useful programming, and other modes of connection and engagement; and providing venues for alumni to discuss Colgate issues.

Please read what the Council is working on, follow the links to additional information, and feel free to contact us: we're eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

From September 29 – October 1, 2016, the Alumni Council met in Hamilton for its first meeting of the 2016–2017 academic year. As part of Inauguration and Homecoming activities, the Council conducted its work through its committees and meetings. Below is a summary of the Council's work.

A Special Weekend
The Alumni Council was pleased to participate in a variety of events surrounding the Inauguration of President Brian W. Casey, including a special dinner on Thursday night with trustees, faculty, and guests. Members also processed in the formal ceremony in the Chapel on Friday, September 30.

Homecoming Weekend also included the dedication of the Class of 1965 Arena and the Alumni Council was included at the formal ceremony and reception.

Welcome to New Members
New members to the Alumni Council include: Patricia Spindel '79, William Baker '70, Chad Cooley '00, Robert Burke '85, Ed Witz '89, Stephen Rock '85, Richard Burke '92, Andrew Sweet '93, Betsy Levine-Brown '01, Priit Vesilind '64, and Robert Sobelman '08.

Nominations Committee
The Nominations Committee met on Monday, September 26 in New York City to consider its recommendations for nine nominees for election as directors of the Alumni Council (one candidate from each of the seven Eras and two At-Large candidates), and one Regional Vice President to be appointed by the Council. The Committee considered the qualifications of hundreds of nominees for each director and Regional Vice President position. At the end of the meeting, the Committee had a slate of final nominees for all ten Council positions, along with two alternates for each position in the event one of the final nominees declines. The chair of the committee, Carmine DiSibio ’85 presented the nominees at the General Session on Saturday, October 1 where a vote was taken to approve the slate.

Once candidates accept their nomination, their names will be listed in the winter edition of the Colgate Scene.

Awards Committee
Led by Anne Huntington ‘’07 (Chair), the committee began its annual review of nominees for alumni awards. During the fall meeting, the nominees for Maroon Citation, William Brian Little ‘64 Award, and Ann Yao ’80 Young Alumni Award were discussed

District Clubs Committee
Kaela Mueller ’09, chair, led the committee in a discussion about institutional support for district club volunteers and their programs. Tim Mansfield, Associate Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Relations, provided an overview of Colgate’s Signature Programs and collected feedback from the committee on how to communicate with club volunteers.

We then voted on the three annual awards given by the committee, the Carlton O. Miller '14 Memorial Cup for Outstanding District Club Achievement, the Harold S. Merrell '42 Memorial Award for Most Improved District Club Achievement, and the RuthAnn Spear Loveless Award for Distinguished Individual and Special Recognition.

The Colgate Clubs of Boston, Philadelphia, Albany, the Chenango Valley, and Louisville won the Miller Award; Atlanta and St. Louis won the Merrell, and Paul Lobo '89 (DC) and Karl Fries '10 (Boston) won the Loveless award. The Colgate Club of New York won a Special Recognition for Sustained Excellence, The Club of the Rockies won a Special Recognition for Creative Programming, the Club of Maine won a Special Recognition for Creative Outreach, the Club of Pittsburgh won a Special Recognition for Revitalization, and the Club of Richmond won a Special Recognition for Innovative Excellence.

Advancement Committee
At the Advancement Committee meeting, Jennifer Stone, Director of Annual Giving and Professional Networks, gave a presentation on the alumni giving rate. The alumni giving rate is important as it impacts our rankings in US News and World Report. Thanks in part to the work of the Alumni Council, Colgate was able to increase its alumni giving rate by 3% (to 43%) from FY15 to FY16. Our goal is to reach a 50% alumni giving rate by FY19. The Alumni Council will be called upon to play a role in reaching this goal in the months ahead.

Career Initiatives Committee
Susie Becker Gould ’03 reports that the committee changed its name to describe all aspects of career initiatives at Colgate - Career Services, Thought Into Action, the Fox Management and Leadership Skills Program, the Investment Studies Program and the Colgate Professional Networks. She invited Mike Sciola, Associate Vice President of Advancement and Career Initiatives to provide an update on the growth in companies that hire our students - a huge jump in the last few years. Sciola also provided images of the new Benton Hall - breaking ground soon and due to be complete in the beginning of 2018.

Finally, Mr. Sciola gave an update on Colgate’s financial literacy programs and focus for the committee this upcoming year.

Athletics Committee
Joe McGrath ’85 introduced two guests to the Athletics Committee meeting: Christina Turner from Physical Education and Recreation Sports, and Taurian Houston from Athletics. Ms. Turner presented an overview of the various physical education, intramural, and outdoor programs at Colgate. Mr. Houston provided an overview of recruitment and scholarship practices that Colgate follows for its student athletes.

State of the ‘Gate
Joe McGrath ’85 welcomed guests to the State of ‘Gate luncheon, which invited members of the Admissions Committee and University Relations Committee. They were joined by Dean of Admission Gary Ross ’77 and Dr. Mark Thompson, Interim VP and Dean of the College. Dr. Thompson has served at Colgate for nineteen years as Director of the Counseling Center until he was asked to serve in this capacity for one year.

Thompson discussed a variety of topics including his new responsibilities and about the campus climate for students. He was asked about the Residential Commons, which he expressed as a work in progress but mostly successful. There was a vigorous discussion about the Alumni Council experience at the April meeting at the commons and members expressed their opinion that their experience was far from satisfactory. He spoke briefly about the SGA proposal to the Board of Trustees about Greek Life and clarified that this was a board decision and not within his purview. Finally, the discussion also touched on the sexual assault prevention programs on campus and agreed that this needed further discussion.

Dean Ross reviewed enrollment statistics from the Class of 2020, the current first year class. Ross shared data about their average high school GPA, standardized test scores, and home origin. This class has a slight decrease in Latino/a students but an increase in Chinese students. 9% of the Class of 2020 is from a non-U.S. country. Ross also discussed financial aid resources and emerging regions for new U.S. applicants (Denver, Seattle, Texas, and Illinois).

General Session
On Saturday morning, the Alumni Council held its General Session for all Directors. During that meeting, Co Bertsche ’63 (Legal Counsel) noted several bylaw changes that were under consideration and requested comments prior to the Winter meeting and in advance of formal proposals. The proposals under consideration and explained by Bertsche include: eliminating Life Member voting rights in those instances where approval of a majority of the full Council, including all 13 of the current Life Members, is required, while retaining their right to fully participate and vote in committee and other Council endeavors; advancing the deadline for online elections by one week; assuring the ability to provide for solely electronic voting for directors; moving the date for approval of director nominees from the Winter to the Fall meeting; and changing the name of the Career Services Committee to Career Initiatives Committee. It was requested that comments on these and thoughts regarding any other bylaw changes

be submitted to Mr. Bertsche directly or through Tim Mansfield well in advance of the Winter meeting so that they may be considered and voted upon at that meeting.

Sean Devlin ’05 proposed a resolution for the Alumni Council to support the recent action by the Student Government Association, to request the Board of Trustees explore the expansion of Greek life at Colgate. Since the SGA resolution has not been seen by the Council, it was agreed to table its consideration until the January meeting

Two new director appointments were proposed by President McGrath and approved by the Board as follows: As ERA II director, Jane Porter ’74 replaces Amr Nosseir ’76 who regretfully submitted his resignation due to the demands of his job. As Era IV director, Robert Burke ’85 replaces John Hayes ’88, who has been elected in his own right to the University Board of Trustees.

President McGrath also announced his appointment of Debra Duarte ’81 to replace Vaughn Crowe ’02 as the Chair of University Relations Committee. Vaughn had requested to step down as chair due to the demands of his job; he remains a director.

Mr. McGrath also announced the Executive Committee recommendations for Alumni Trustee, namely Terry Egler ’77 and Robert Johnson ’94 to succeed Gus Coldebella ’91 and Ron Joyce ’73 whose terms expire in June. The Council will officially vote on their selection at the Winter meeting, whereupon the selections will be referred to the Nominating Committee of the University Board of Trustees for its consideration.

Carmine DiSibio ’85, Nominations Committee Chair, announced the Committee’s nominations for ERA and At Large director positions (plus 1st and 2nd alternates) to stand for election at Reunion weekend 2017. The slate was unanimously approved. He also announced the Committee’s nominee (plus 1st and 2nd alternates) for RVP-Upstate New York, Executive Secretary (Tim Mansfield), and Council President (Melissa Coley, current VP) to be voted upon at the Council’s Winter meeting.

Melissa Coley ’79, acting as interim chair of the Nominations Committee (Mr. DiSibio having excused himself), announced the Nominations Committee recommendation of Carmine DiSibio ’85 as the next Vice President of the Alumni Council. The official vote will be held at the Winter meeting.

Spring 2016 meeting of the Alumni Council, April 8 - 10, 2016
April 2016 Meeting Summary
April 2016 Meeting Minutes

Winter 2016 meeting of the Alumni Council, January 14 - 16, 2016
January 2016 Meeting Summary
January 2016 Meeting Minutes

Fall 2015 meeting of the Alumni Council, September 17 - 19, 2015
September 2015 Meeting Summary
September 2015 Meeting Minutes

Spring 2015 meeting of the Alumni Council, April 10 - 12, 2015
April 2015 Meeting Summary
April 2015 Meeting Minutes

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
January-2012-Meeting-Minutes

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

Upcoming Meetings

Date Location
June 3, 2017
Annual meeting at Reunion*
Hamilton, NY
October 12-14, 2017
Begins on the evening of Thursday, October 12
Hamilton, NY
January 18 - 20, 2018
Begins on the evening of Thursday, January 18
Hamilton, NY
April 6 - 8, 2018
Begins on the evening of Friday, April 6
Hamilton, NY
June 2, 2018
Annual meeting at Reunion*
Hamilton, NY
September 20 - 22, 2018
Begins on the evening of Thursday, September 20
Hamilton, NY

*Council members are not required to attend the annual meeting. Those on campus for Reunion are encouraged to attend.