As I conclude the 2009-2010 term as your Alumni Council president, it is my pleasure to send this customary summary of the highlights of this past council year, and to list important links for your continued connection and communications with the Alumni Council.
Communications between the Alumni Council and alumni worldwide increased by approximately 30 percent over last year. The councilors wrote and issued comprehensive reports to their constituents about the state of the College and council events approximately four times this year. The alumni are writing back to their representative councilor(s) or to the council’s Alumni Liaison Committee (email@example.com) with invaluable comments and questions. This exchange of information and alumni sentiment is then summarized and reported to the board of trustees, all of which has been crucial in advancing alumni relations with the College. Thank you for your comments and questions this year and please keep them coming. We love to hear from you!
Alumni Trustee Elections
Council-nominated candidates Morton Kondracke ’60 and John Replogle ’88 were chosen by the alumni to fill two vacant alumni-nominated seats on the board of trustees. With 32 percent of the alumni voting (the highest percentage in alumni trustee election history) the two candidates won with 85 percent and 71 percent of the vote, respectively. I’d like to say a huge “thank you” to alumni for voting in this year’s elections. As we round the corner to another alumni-nominated trustee election in the spring of 2011, please send your trustee recommendations and watch for updates from the council’s Nominating and Alumni Trustee Search Committee. I am encouraged by the alumni-nominated trustee/Association of Alumni Executive Committee election results and by alumni correspondence. They are positive indications of a united and forward-moving partnership between the College and alumni.
We honored nine more distinguished alumni with the prestigious Dartmouth Alumni Award: Putnam Blodgett ’53, ’61Tu; John Ballard ’55, ’56Th; Dudley Smith ’60; Robert Barr ’73; Matt Dwyer ’75; Martha Johnson Beattie ’76; Merle Adelman ’80; Mark Alperin ’80; and Rick Silverman ’81. Also, Jennifer Tudder Walus ’97 and Belinda Chiu ’98 received the Dartmouth Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award.
Committee Activities/Alumni Service
Council committees identified pressing needs of the College where alumni service would be extremely beneficial and these committees are encouraging alumni service in those areas. The Committee on Enrollment and Admissions has been actively raising awareness of the need for and encouraging greater alumni participation in admissions interviewing, particularly since all interviews are now held off campus as more students than ever apply to Dartmouth. The council’s Young Alumni Committee is working to involve more alumni in networking and career placement in this unsteady economic environment, and has worked with Deb Klenotic in the Office of Alumni Relations to significantly enhance the web site to that end.
The Ad Hoc Committee to Support Greek Letter Organizations issued its final report in May and has called on alumni to constructively support these organizations. As the College and President Kim work with students on the alcohol policy and recommendations issued by the Student and Presidential Alcohol Harm Reductions Committee (SPAHRC), alumni can also help by providing an advisory role to the individual organizations and supporting physical plant renovations and improvements. All committees of the council worked tirelessly to plan the two very busy sessions over the past council year. The 199th session met in December and introduced President Kim, informed councilors of the financial challenges facing the College, and introduced the council-nominated candidates for the alumni trustee election. The meeting in May celebrated the 200th session of the Alumni Council, at which President Kim gave a history of the council, highlighting its decisions and impact on the College. Councilors also heard from senior College staff, attended classes with students, and then met with the students about various campus issues–always a highlight for the councilors.
The Alumni Liaison Committee, composed of leaders from the Association of Alumni Executive Committee and the Alumni Council, will soon issue its third report to the board of trustees summarizing council activities and communications from alumni. You’ll be able to view this report online in September.
The Year Ahead
On July 1, the council finally reached cruising altitude with 125 representative councilors, fulfilling the mandate of the constitutional amendments approved a few years ago. As we give our appreciation to one third of councilors whose terms end June 30, the council will welcome one third of the council’s incoming councilors. I encourage you to connect with your councilor representative. As the succession of Alumni Council presidents continues, please join me in welcoming Tom Peisch ’70, who began his tenure July 1.
It has been a tremendous honor in my life to have served Dartmouth as president of the Alumni Council. I am grateful for the extraordinary efforts of the councilors and the Dartmouth community, and the indefatigable staff in Alumni Relations, all of whom have made this year such a success. Connecting and corresponding with alumni from all over the world has been an incredibly positive experience; one that I will never forget. We share this deep bond with the College and I deeply appreciate Dartmouth and her alumni more than ever.
In closing, I offer the words of William Jewett Tucker, Dartmouth’s ninth president: “Do not expect that you will make any lasting or very strong impression on the world through intellectual power without the use of an equal amount of conscience and heart.” I believe it is safe to say that this Alumni Council has made a lasting positive impact on the College, as no doubt will future councils, and I thank the alumni from the bottom of my heart for your participation with Dartmouth and helping President Kim make this College the greatest academic institution in the world.
My very best to you,
Janine Avner ’80
2009-2010 President, Dartmouth Alumni Council