Fostering a culture of alumni participation and engagement
By now many of you have received news from Dean Joe Thomas regarding changes to our alumni volunteer structure. These changes are part of a larger initiative designed to foster a culture of alumni participation and engagement with the Johnson School. I would like to provide information on another new program related to this effort, a Johnson School consecutive-giving society, and additional details on how you can be involved.
As Dean Thomas mentioned, last fall the decision was made to adopt a class volunteer structure based on the results of a benchmarking study conducted with three peer business schools: the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth), the Yale School of Management, and the Darden School of Business (University of Virginia). Starting this fiscal year with the Class of 2010, our Johnson School class volunteer structure will include three class representatives:
- Class Correspondent to solicit and distribute class notes
- Class Agent in charge of fundraising and class participation in non-reunion years, and serves as campaign chair or co-chair in reunion years.
- Class Reunion/Activities Chair
While each class will have the option to retain a particular class officer position, we are hoping many current class officers will self-nominate for a class agent, class correspondent or class reunion/activities chair position. Staff members from Alumni Affairs and Development will make the final selections based on input from our nominees, fellow classmates, and Johnson School faculty and staff.
To insure that we provide effective staff support for our new volunteers, we will be rolling this new program out in phases based on the reunion cycle. To get things started this spring, we will recruit and select volunteers from a small "test group" of five non-reunion classes. My colleague, Kristen Burke, assistant director of development, is reaching out to members of the classes of 2009, 2002, 1997, 1999, and 1979.
Next, we will invite alumni from the 2010 reunion classes (Os & 5s) to self-nominate by May 14. Our new class agents and correspondents and reunion/activities chairs will be announced during Reunion 2010 at the Alumni Recognition Luncheon on Saturday, June 12, 2010. These volunteers will assume their new roles, along with this year's graduating class, in July 2010. Each year, we will phase in a new group of classes following reunion.
Finally, to celebrate our culture of giving and engagement and support our volunteer efforts toward boosting alumni participation, we will institute a loyalty recognition program called the Henry W. Sage Society. We chose to name this program for the great businessman, philanthropist, and early Cornell benefactor and trustee, Henry W. Sage, whose loyalty, generosity, and foresight led him to build the eponymous and iconic future home of the Johnson School, Sage Hall.
I hope you will stay tuned for more information on our new volunteer structure and the Henry W. Sage society from Dean Thomas and my colleagues in Alumni Affairs and Development.
Director of Alumni Affairs