From the Archives
Making a Difference
Alumni Travel Program
RAA ANNUAL REPORT 1999-2000
IT'S ALL ABOUT
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
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
Enhanced Income and
The RAAs 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 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 insiders 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 Rensselaers 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 reunioncombined with an affinity
reunion of IT professionalsdrew more than 1,200 alumni, friends,
and family members.
Alumni also provided strong input to the development of the Rensselaer
Plan, the Institutes 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.
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
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 RAAthrough
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 Rensselaerfather 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 falls
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 todays 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.
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
We look forward
to your input as we develop our vision for the future.