Contents

FEATURES

Pioneers of the Internet

Untangling the Web
Shedding Light Around the World
Reunion 2000

DEPARTMENTS

President's View

At Rensselaer
From the Archives
Hawk Talk
Making a Difference
Milestones

Class Notes Features

RAA Annual Report

Alumni Weddings

Alumni Travel Program

Looking Ahead

 

RAA ANNUAL REPORT 1999-2000
IT'S ALL ABOUT CONNECTIONS

Your Rensselaer Alumni Association is happy to report strong fiscal health and active, ongoing projects. But, as is the tradition at Rensselaer, we keep working to improve programs and services to engage alumni more actively with each other and with the Institute

Welcome New RAA Board Members!
The RAA has added six new members to the Board of Trustees for 2000-01.
They are: Institute Trustee Designate
Neal Barton ’58,
Rich Bollam ’66,
Phil Lurie ’74,
Dennis Powers ’63,
Laura Somers ’92,
and Pat Swoboda ’91. Congratulations on your election to the board!


Enhanced Income and Seed Capital

The RAA’s combined unrestricted and Alumni Hall of Fame fund balance at fiscal year end (June 30
, 2000) stood at $1,193,000. RAA funds support continuing operations and “seed” various campus, student, and alumni projects that benefit current and future alumni. One of the projects supported this year was the Student Union renovation, to which the RAA provided $100,000 to renovate what will be known as the RAA Lounge.

Alumni Involvement
Alumni involvement is a hallmark of a world-class institution. With a new volunteer recruitment/placement program initiated by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Volunteer Relations Committee of the RAA Board of Trustees, just under 2,000 alumni volunteers found ways to become involved and to network with each other. These important volunteers were recognized in a new way this year in the Salute to Involvement (formerly the Report to Donors).

Large crowds across the United States attended activities hosted by Rensselaer alumni chapters, including an insider’s tour of Grand Central Station in New York City, an information technology forum in Boston, satellite hockey in more than 50 cities, and several regional receptions to welcome Rensselaer’s 18th president, Shirley Ann Jackson. Internationally, a new alumni chapter was formed in Venezuela.

Back on campus, Lally School of Management and Technology graduate (MBA, M.S., and Ph.D.) alumni gathered in October for their first networking reunion, while the June class reunion—combined with an affinity reunion of IT professionals—drew more than 1,200 alumni, friends, and family members.
 
Alumni also provided strong input to the development of the Rensselaer Plan, the Institute’s blueprint for the future. The RAA Board of Trustees met with President Jackson to provide direct feedback on drafts of the plan. Through town meetings and comments solicited by the president, an additional 300-plus alumni responded with support and suggestions. Many alumni comments were integrated into the final plan document.

Benefits U!
The RAA and the Office of Alumni Relations have focused efforts to develop more programs and services that benefit alumni and provide value to their continued involvement with the Institute.

RenSource, an online networking database that allows alumni to search for fellow alumni based on various career/ professional fields, to mentor students or alumni, and to post and review job opportunities, was established and grew quickly to more than 3,000 alumni registrants. Additional career services, through associations with professional search firms and the campus career development center, were created, allowing alumni to explore many professional/career options. Alumni groups based on common professional interest areas were formed and are developing into niche networking opportunities.

To complement a very successful credit card service, the RAA negotiated a contract with A.H. Wohlers, a leader in alumni insurance programs, to offer life, property, and automobile coverage soon to Rensselaer alumni at low group rates. And the Alumni Tours travel program continues to offer interesting trips for Rensselaer alumni. This past year included trips to the Caribbean, Italy, England, France, and Ireland.

Forging Future Alumni, One Student at a Time
Early and sustained connections between students and alumni is a major emphasis of the RAA and the Office of Alumni Relations. More students than ever have become aware of and involved with the RAA—through alumni speakers visiting campus, the Red & White student organization, online mentoring offered through RenSource, and a new mentoring program developed to match recent graduates with Rensselaer students. The second annual Regional Chapter Open House drew more than 225 graduating students who met with chapter representatives from all over the country to learn about their destination geographic areas.

Another growing program linking current and future Rensselaer alumni is the Legacy Program, which drew more than 250 legacies to a November campus reception. A legacy is a student or alumnus/a who has a relative that is an alumnus/a of Rensselaer—father or mother, uncle or aunt, brother or sister, etc. The number of legacy students is growing each year, as alumni recognize the value a Rensselaer education has for their children. In fact, there were 70 legacy students in last fall’s incoming class.

In an effort to interact with students from “Day One,” the RAA alumni admissions program brought 19 regional admissions managers back to campus to learn about today’s Rensselaer so they can effectively recruit prospective students. More than 100 Rensselaer alumni returned to campus to recruit for both large corporations and start-ups.

Looking Ahead
The RAA Board has established a committee to develop a new strategic vision for at least the next five years. Key to that plan, which will be presented at the June 2001 annual meeting, will be coordination of goals established in the Rensselaer Plan, which include continuing professional and executive education, involving alumni in all facets of the university, services and networks that provide added value to alumni, and celebration of the achievements of alumni as leaders of today. If you have ideas, send them to Glenn Brown ’54, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee (e-mail: raa@rpi.edu).

We look forward to your input as we develop our vision for the future.
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