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Alumni Constitution


Have you ever wondered what the Alumni Association's function was? Please take a few minutes to review the text below. It should answer many of your questions.

CONSTITUTION OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Article 1 -- Name

This organization shall be called The Alumni Association of Hamilton College (the Association).

Article 2 -- Objectives

The objectives of the Association shall be to promote and foster the best interests of Hamilton College, to strengthen the relationships of all alumni with one another and with the College and to provide support to the College in meeting its goals.

Article 3 -- Members

Every graduate of Hamilton and Kirkland, and every former student of Hamilton and Kirkland whose class has been graduated shall become a member of the Association by virtue of enrollment at the College. Trustees of the College, members of the faculty and administration of the College, and recipients of honorary degrees from the College, who do not qualify for membership shall be associate members of the Association. Only members of the Association shall have the right to vote.

Article 4 -- Meetings and Officers of the Association

Section 4.1 -- Meetings of the Association.

The Association shall meet at the College at least once annually at a time and place to be fixed by the Alumni Council. The Secretary of the Association shall notify all members of such meetings by mail at least thirty days prior thereto. Special meetings of the Association may be held at such times and places as its officers shall designate upon thirty days notice by mail to all members. Those members of the Association present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum. The Association shall act at any meeting by a majority vote of those members present and voting.

Section 4.2 -- Officers of the Association.

The officers of the Association shall be a President of the Alumni Council and Executive Committee of the Council. Terms of office for the President and executive committee of the Association shall be according to the By Laws of the Council commencing on the first day of July following their election and continuing until their respective successors are elected and take office. The President of the Association shall be its chief executive officer and shall preside at all meetings of the Association. In the absence or disability of the President of the Association, one of the members of the executive committee shall be designated by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Council to perform the duties of the President.

Section 4.3 -- Secretary.

The Secretary of the Association shall be appointed by the college.

Article 5 -- Alumni Council: Purposes, Duties and Powers

Section 5.1 -- Purposes of the Alumni Council.

The Alumni Council shall support the key needs of the college by mobilizing the talent, expertise, time and financial resources of all alumni.

Section 5.2 -- Duties and Powers of the Alumni Council.

    1. Lead all alumni volunteer groups in meeting the needs of the College.
    2. Provide the link between all alumni and the College.
    3. Identify, recruit, and inspire alumni and prospective alumni to work in support of the College, and provide recognition for those who do.
    4. Foster a spirit of loyalty and fellowship among alumni.
    5. Carry out other responsibilities as specified in the By-laws of the Alumni Council, as may be amended from time to time.

Article 6 -- Alumni Trustees

As provided in the By-laws of the Board of Trustees, the members of the Association shall elect twelve members to the Board of Trustees of the College, such members to be known as Alumni Trustees. Three Alumni Trustees shall be elected annually for a term of four years. The term of each Alumni Trustee shall begin on the first day of July following his/her election and shall continue until a successor is elected and takes office. Any person shall be eligible to serve as an Alumni Trustee provided that a Council member elected as an Alumni Trustee shall automatically vacate his/her Council membership on the commencement of his/her term of office as an Alumni Trustee.

Article 7 -- Class [Representatives] Presidents

The members of each class shall, in their year of graduation and in each succeeding five-year-reunion, elect a class president. Class presidents shall serve a term of five years, and such term shall commence on the first day of July of the year in which elected. A class president shall serve as a member of the Council.

Article 8 -- Nominations and Elections

Section 8.1 -- Nominations.

The Council shall nominate at least one Candidate for each vacancy to be filled for the offices of the President of the Association, and Alumni Trustee. Notices of the nominations for the above offices shall be published in the Alumni Review at least 120 days prior to the Spring Meeting of the Council. Additional nominations for the offices of President, and Alumni Trustee may be made by members of the Association by filing with the Secretary of the Association a petition bearing the signature of twenty-five members of the Association. Additional nominations for the office of class president may be made by members of a class by filing with the Secretary of the Association a petition bearing the signature of five per centum of the members of such class. The form of such nominations petitions shall be as provided in the By-Laws of the Council. Nominating petitions must be received by the Secretary of the Association at least 90 days prior to the spring meeting of the Council.

Section 8.2 -- Balloting.

In the event there are additional nominations for the offices of President of the Alumni Association, Alumni Trustee, or respective class presidents as provided in Section 8.1, the balloting for the President, Alumni Trustees, and class representatives shall be by ballot prepared and mailed by the Secretary of the Association to the members of the Association and the members of the respective classes at least thirty, but not more than sixty, days prior to the spring meeting of the Alumni Council. The balloting for President of the Association shall be held triennialy; the balloting for Alumni Trustees shall be held annually; the balloting for class presidents shall be held for respective classes in their year of graduation and in each succeeding five-year reunion year. The ballots shall be prepared and the balloting shall be conducted in such manner as the By-Laws of the Council may prescribe, including provisions for write-in candidates for each office. In the event there are no additional nominations for the offices of President of the Alumni Association,or Alumni Trustee, as provided in Section 8.1, the balloting shall be conducted at the spring meeting of the Alumni Council and the Secretary of the Alumni Association shall be empowered to cast one unanimous ballot for the candidates nominated as provided in Section 8.1.

Section 8.3 -- Elections.

The election for President of the Association shall be held every three years; the election for Alumni Trustees shall be held annually; the election for class presidents shall be held for respective classes in their year of graduation and in each succeeding five-year reunion year. In any election, the candidate for President of the Association receiving the highest number of votes shall be President. The candidates for Alumni Trustee receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected as Alumni Trustees to fill the existing vacancies for that office. The candidate for each respective class president receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected as class president. If any election shall result in a tie vote, the incumbent Executive Committee of the Council shall resolve the tie by lot. If any person elected for any office shall decline or be ineligible for any reason to take office, the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes for that office shall be declared elected.

Article 9 -- Local Alumni Associations

Section 9.1 -- Organization and Purposes.

Any group of ten or more members of the Association may petition the Association for a charter as a local alumni association and such charter may be granted by the Council on behalf of the Association. Each local alumni association shall adopt and carry out goals each year in line with the goals of the Alumni Council, in support of the needs of the College. There shall be no more than one local alumni association in any single city community as determined by the Council. The purposes of the local alumni associations shall be to promote camaraderie among the alumni, to stimulate interest in and enthusiasm for the College and to provide assistance in the conduct of the annual Alumni Fund Drive.

Section 9.2 -- Operation.

Each local alumni association shall elect its own president at a meeting held locally, and shall devise its own methods of operation, consistent with this constitution, for carrying out the purposes of the association. Local alumni associations will look to the Alumni Council for leadership and will be responsible to the Council.

Section 9.3 -- Local Alumni Association Representatives.

Each local alumni association shall elect a president who then will become the associations representative on the Alumni Council. Representatives will serve three year terms on the Council beginning July 1 after election.

Article 10 -- Vacancies

Section 10.1. Officers of the Association.

Should a vacancy in the office of President of the Association occur otherwise than by expiration of the stated term of office, the Council, at its next regular meeting, shall elect one of its members to serve as President for the balance of the uncompleted term.

Section 10.2. Alumni Trustees.

Should a vacancy occur in any alumni trusteeship otherwise than by expiration of the stated term of office, the Council shall elect a replacement for that office.

Section 10.3. Elected Members of the Council.

Should a vacancy occur in a position of class president or member-at-large, the Council shall elect a replacement for such position to serve for the balance of the uncompleted term. Should a vacancy occur in the positions of the local alumni association representative, the local association shall elect a replacement to serve the balance of the uncompleted term. Should a vacancy occur in a faculty representative position on the Council otherwise than by expiration of the stated term of office, the faculty may choose from the members of the faculty of the College a person to serve for the balance of the uncompleted term.

Article 11 -- Annual Fund

The Annual Fund shall be a means through which Alumni and other interested persons may make a gift to be used for the best interests of Hamilton College. The title to all monies received through the Annual Fund shall vest in the College.

Article 12 -- Amendments

This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those alumni casting ballots. Recommendations for amendments may be made by the Alumni Council or by petition signed by not less than two thirds vote of those voting at the Alumni Association annual meeting. Text of the proposed amendment shall be published in the Alumni Review or separately mailed to all members of the Association. In either case comments shall be solicited. After a reasonable time for receipt of comments, a ballot with date by which it must be returned, the full text of the proposal and a summary of the pros and cons based on comments received shall be mailed by the Secretary of the Association to all members of the Association at least thirty days prior to the date fixed for return of the ballots.

Article 13 -- Effective Date

This constitution becomes effective July 1, 1997.

BY-LAWS OF THE ALUMNI COUNCIL

Article 1 -- Mission of the Alumni Council

To support the key needs of the College by mobilizing the talent, expertise, time and financial resources of all alumni. To do this, the Council will 1). Lead all alumni volunteer groups in meeting the needs of the College; 2). Provide the link between all alumni and the College, 3). Identify, recruit, and inspire alumni and prospective alumni to work in support of the College, and provide recognition for those who do, and 4). Foster a spirit of loyalty and fellowship among alumni.

Article 2 -- Officers of the Council

Section 2.1 -- Chair.

The Council Chair, in accordance with the Constitution of the Alumni Association of Hamilton College (the "Constitution") and these By-laws, shall exercise powers and perform the duties assigned to him/her by the Council and/or the Executive Committee, and shall provide leadership for the Council and overall management of its affairs. The Chair shall present an annual report of the Council's work at the annual meeting of the Alumni Association.

Section 2.2 -- Officers.

All members of the Executive Committee shall serve as officers of the Alumni Council.

Section 2.3 -- Presiding Officer.

The Chair, or in his/her absence, a member of the Executive Committee, or, in the absence of all of them, any member selected by the members present, shall preside at meetings of the Council.

Article 3 -- Secretary

The Secretary will be a member of the College staff, appointed by the Vice President of Communications and Development, and will provide staff assistance to the Council in preparing for all Council activities as requested by the Executive Committee.

  1. The Secretary shall Assist the Chair and the Executive Committee in the direction and leadership of the Council by keeping them informed of College needs so the Council can set goals and carry out work in support of those needs.
  2. provide general direction and leadership to the Executive Committee by suggesting ideas for improving the operation of the Council and by recommending for consideration alumni and class activities and programs based on his/her awareness of the Hamilton traditions, the needs of the College, the changing attitudes of its alumni, and alumni and class activities and programs being carried on at other small colleges;
  3. assist the chairs of all committees by assuming a significant share of the burden of preparing for committee meetings and by offering suggestions and advice regarding committee plans and objectives;
  4. implement committee decisions, provide direction and assistance in the conduct of the annual Alumni Fund Drive and to the local alumni associations and class organizations;
  5. prepare and maintain a list of alumni qualified to serve on the Council for consideration by the Committee on Nominations;
  6. serve as secretary of the Council, and keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings of the Council, and of all other matters for which a record shall be ordered by the Council;
  7. notify the officers and all members of the committees of their election or appointment, mail notices of all Council meetings, and, in case of special meetings, add a brief mote of the object of the call; and
  8. perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned by Executive Committee.

Article 4 -- Membership of the Council

Section 4.1 -- Membership.

Membership shall be comprised of Regional Chairs, Class Presidents and other alumni (Members at Large) who have demonstrated leadership ability, or potential, in doing volunteer work for the College. Members will be notified of their appointments in a letter signed by the President of the College and Chair of the Alumni Council.

Section 4.2 -- Demographics.

Consideration shall be given, in the selection process, to representation of the various groups, and to alumni demographics.

Section 4.3 -- Terms.

Council members shall be appointed for 5 year terms. Council Chair, Chair of the Nominations Committee, Chair of the Regional Affairs Committee, and Chair of the Class Leadership Committee will serve 3 year terms. Terms of Council and Committee Chairs may be concurrent with or in addition to 5 year Council terms.

Section 4.4 -- Students and Faculty.

Students and faculty members, selected by the Dean of Students and Dean of the Faculty, shall be appointed to one academic-year teams on the Alumni Council. Consideration will be given to Hamilton community demographics.

Section 4.5 -- New Members At Large.

New Members at Large will normally be selected for the special expertise they can contribute to a Standing or Ad Hoc Committee. New Members At Large may also be selected for general leadership ability, and in that case will be consulted on their choice committee assignments, and if at all possible will be assigned to the committee of their choice.

Article 5 -- Council Organization

The Council shall maintain four standing committees: Executive, Regional Affairs, Class Leadership and Nominations. Ad Hoc committees shall be formed by the Executive Committee to meet specific College needs.

Section 5.1 -- Executive Committee.

The Executive committee shall consist of the Council Chair, the Chairs of the Regional Affairs, Class Leadership, and Nominating Committees and three other council members selected by the Nominating Committee and approved by the Council. The Secretary and the Vice President of Communications and Development shall be ex officio members of the Executive Committee.

The Council Chair shall serve as chair of the Executive Committee. The chair shall not vote on matters before the committee except in case of a tie vote. More than one half of members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.

The Executive Committee shall

Section 5.2 -- Nominations Committee.

The Nominations Committee shall consist of a Chair and five members selected by the Executive Committee.

The Nominations Committee shall

Section 5.3 -- Regional Affairs Committee.

The Regional Affairs committee shall consist of the Regional Chairs. The Committee Chair, appointed as indicated in Section 5.1 e. shall preside over Committee meetings, provide leadership to the Committee and serve on the Executive Committee.

The Regional Affairs Committee shall

Section 5.4 -- Class Leadership Committee.

The Class Leadership Committee shall consist of Class President/Reunion Chairs from each of the Hamilton and Kirkland classes.

The Class Leadership Committee shall

Section 5.5 -- Regional Affairs, Class Leadership and Ad Hoc Committee Guidelines.

Each of the above Committees shall

    1. Provide overall leadership to the Council and its committees and in the conduct of al Council business. It may make policies and regulations it deems advisable, consistent with the Constitution and By-laws.
    2. Keep informed of the needs of the College and guide the volunteer work of the Alumni Council to meet those needs. Set goals based on those needs, and form ad hoc committees to respond to those needs; and as needs are filled, disband Ad Hoc committees.
    3. Recognize individuals who have supported the College, and plan events to celebrate good work of the Council in general.
    4. Develop an agenda for each Council meeting, including times for general sessions, committee meetings, meetings with students and faculty, and social events. The Executive Committee shall determine Council business matters to be included in each meeting.
    5. Appoint Standing and Ad Hoc Committee Chairs, on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee and the Alumni Association.
    6. Assure there are numerous volunteer opportunities for alumni who may not be on the Council.
    7. Perform other duties it deems necessary consistent with the Constitution and By-laws.
    1. Identify alumni leaders and potential leaders, and alumni with special areas of expertise; and recruit alumni for service on the Council.
    2. Recommend, every two years, nominees for Council Chair, and annually one member from the Council to serve as one of the three members of the Executive Committee drawn from the general membership of the Council, for approval by the Council. Recommend, should a vacancy occur in any of these positions, a replacement, to be approved by the Council.
    3. Recommend annually nominee(s) for Alumni Trustee for approval by the Council, should a vacancy occur in any alumni trusteeship other than expiration of term of office, an interim replacement to serve until a replacement has been elected as provided in Article 9 of the Constitution.
    4. Recommend nominees, to be approved by the Council, for Regional Chairs and Chapter Presidents, Ad Hoc Committee Chairs and for At-Large Members of the Council, as existing memberships expire, and as new committees are formed.
    5. Nominate annually person(s) to receive the Bell Ringer Award.
    6. Submit relevant biographical information on all nominees to the Council prior to a vote for approval.
    1. Provide leadership to Regions and Chapters within Regions in the activities of GOLD groups, GIVES, WAVE, Career Volunteers, Alumni Activities and special events, Phone-a-thon
    2. Assure that the above groups are staffed and trained to perform their functions.
    3. Assure that all groups set goals in support of Council and College goals.
    4. Provide appropriate communications to all groups.
    5. Provide recognition for work done by members of the groups.
    1. Work with the Office of Communication of Development to formulate reunion plans.
    2. Set goals for and raise funds for Reunion Gifts.
    3. Select Class Agents.
    4. Assure that Free Agents are selected.
    5. Assure that class notes are collected, prepared and sent to the Hamilton Alumni Review.
    1. Define its mission when formed, submit it to the Executive Committee for approval, and present it to the Council.
    2. Develop goals annually in support of the needs of the College and the Council's overall goals, submit them to the Executive committee for approval, and present them to the Council.
    3. Carry out its goals, involving Committee members, other members of the Council, alumni at large, College administration, faculty and/or students, as needed.
    4. Carry out other responsibilities as requested by the Executive Committee.
    5. Operate, as nearly as possible, without making demands on the resources of the College.
    6. Make recommendations to the Executive committee on improving the effectiveness of the Council.
    7. Provide regular updates on progress toward accomplishing goals to the Council.

Article 6 -- Elections and Voting

Section 6.1 -- Nominations by the Council.

Nominations by the Nominations Committee, as described in Section 5.2 of these By-laws, shall be submitted to the Council for approval at the Spring meeting, and elections held at that time. Council members may propose candidates in addition to those recommended by the Nominations Committee. The Council may nominate candidates submitted by petition

Section 6.2 -- Nominations by Petition.

A petition to nominate a candidate for Council Chair, Alumni Trustee, or Council member may be submitted to the Executive Committee by any member of the Alumni Association. To be valid, a petition must:

The Executive Committee shall determine the validity of all petitions submitted, and shall inform the Nominations Committee as soon as possible of all valid petitions.

Candidates nominated by valid petition shall be presented to the Alumni Council, in addition to other nominees selected by the Nominations Committee, prior to a vote being taken.

Section 6.3 -- Other Elections.

In the event of a vacancy, or the formation of a new committee, the election procedure specified in this Article will be followed at the next scheduled Alumni Council meeting.

Section 6.4 -- Voting.

Elections will be decided as follows:

    • Contain the name of the candidate, and the office for which he/she is being nominated on each page of the petition.
    • Be submitted in its entirety-- that is all pages must be submitted at the same time.
    • Contain at least 25 alumni signatures, and indicate the class, address and telephone number of each alumnus signing the petition.
    • Be received in the Office of Communication and Development at least 30 days before the Alumni Council meeting at which the vote will be taken.
    • Nominate only one candidate.
    • Be accompanied by a statement by the proposed candidate consenting to his/her nomination.
    • Nomination recommendations will be decided by a majority of Nominations Committee voting.
    • Motions brought before the Alumni Council will be decided by the majority vote of Council members.
    • Amendments to By-laws will be decided by two-thirds vote of Alumni Council members present. Text of any proposed amendment shall be sent to Council members along with the notice of the meeting. Notice and text of any proposed amendment must be given to the Executive Committee at least ten days prior to the sending of the notice of the meeting.

Article 7 -- Meetings of the Council

Meetings will be held as follows:

Section 7.1 -- General Meetings.

The Council shall hold two general meetings each year on campus, one in the spring and the other in the fall.

Section 7.2 -- Notice.

Notice of each meeting shall be given at least fifteen days prior to the meeting. An agenda, minutes of the last meeting and other materials pertinent to the meeting will be mailed with the notice.

Section 7.3 -- Conduct of the Meetings.

Except in cases otherwise provided for by the Constitution or By-laws, all meetings of the Council shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.

Section 7.4 -- Other Attendees.

Alumni, students and faculty not on the Council may be invited to Council meetings.

Section 7.5 -- Committee Business.

Any Council business which, in the judgment of the Chair, can be best handled by a committee of the Council, shall be referred to that committee. The Council Chair and Committee Chair will agree on timing for resolution of the matter, and reporting to the Council.

Section 7.6 -- Committee Meetings.

Individual committee meetings, including executive committee meetings, may be held during Alumni Council meetings and/or at other times as needed to conduct committee business, in appropriate places (not necessarily on the Hill), or by conference call or E-mail.

  • Meetings will be to

      1. Review College needs.
      2. Set overall Council goals.
      3. Set individual committee goals in support of council goals.
      4. Review progress on meeting goals.
      5. Renew commitment and make necessary plans for meeting goals on schedule.
      6. Vote on nominations, motions and other issues before the Council.
      7. Interact with students and faculty.
      8. Review and celebrate prior year's work and accomplishments.
      9. Recognize volunteers.
      10. Participate in leadership training.

Article 8 -- Amendment of By-Laws

Section 8.1.

These By-Laws may be amended at any meeting of the Council. The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting at such meeting shall be required for the adoption of any amendment. No proposed amendment shall be submitted to a vote unless notice of the proposed amendment shall have been included in the notice or call of the meeting, together with the text of the proposed amendment. Unless the Executive Committee otherwise directs, no notice of a proposed amendment shall be so included in the notice or call of a meeting unless notice in writing of the proposed amendment shall have been given to the Executive Committee ten days prior thereto.

Section 8.2.

Upon the consideration of any proposed amendment, amendments germane thereto may be offered and voted upon at the meeting.

Article 9 -- Effective Date

These By-laws become effective January 1, 1996.

Contact Information


Office of Alumni Relations

Anderson-Connell Alumni Center
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Mon.-Fri.: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (closed 12-1 p.m.)
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