Reaching and serving more alumni
In an effort to enhance communications among alumni volunteers and serve a greater number of its constituents, the Alumni Council has expanded to include GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) regional chairs and class agents.
The expansion from 143 to 234 members coincides with recent changes to the council's mission statement that place a similar degree of emphasis on Alumni Council support of the College and support of alumni.
"The previous focus of the Alumni Council was more on helping the College," said Melissa Joyce-Rosen '86, president of the Alumni Association and chair of the Alumni Council. "While that objective still exists, we realize that there are many ways that alumni can help other alumni and students. All alumni have a special affinity for Hamilton, and we want to foster that relationship off the Hill."
The expansion of the Alumni Council will help meet the needs of the College in two ways -- by reaching out to the younger alumni via the GOLD regional chairs, and by strengthening class identity by dovetailing with the already successful class agents program.
"By expanding the council to include class agents, we reach out to a larger number of volunteers and enable a partnership with the class presidents," Joyce-Rosen said. "In addition, the regional GOLD group chairs will have the opportunity to interact with the regional presidents and create local programming that meets the needs of alumni in the various regions.
"Engaging new graduates into active participation with alumni activity is key to creating long-term allegiance to the College," she added.
Expanding its reach to support diverse constituents is not a new endeavor for the Alumni Council. In 2002 two ad-hoc committees, the Committee on the Career Center and the Committee on Multicultural Alumni Relations, were formed. Joyce-Rosen cites as an example the mentoring effort begun last fall by the multicultural committee that brought 40 students of color together with 20 alumni mentors.
"The objective was to find alumni willing to mentor current students and to match alumni mentors with students," she explained. "The students were engaged and excited about the mentoring program, and the alumni were equally enthusiastic to help."
Likewise, the work of the regional affairs committee has paid off in an increase of more than 40 percent in the number of Hamilton events held off the Hill in the past two years. Outings range from volunteer work to sporting events to Alumni Colleges to the signature social event, the Alexander Hamilton birthday parties held simultaneously in cities across the country.
The Alumni Council is comprised of an executive committee that oversees the council and standing committees on class leadership, regional affairs and nominations. In addition to multicultural affairs and Career Center, an ad-hoc committee oversees the Hamilton Online Alumni Community (HOLAC). Council members meet as a whole twice a year on campus with some committee conference calls held throughout the year.
Class agents and GOLD regional chairs are the first new groups to join the Alumni Council. Other volunteer groups may be added in the near future.