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RAA Annual Report 2002-2003

Growing for the Future

At the June annual meeting, President Leland Bishop ’60 reported that the past year has been one of increased involvement, expanded offerings, and added services for the Rensselaer Alumni Association.
The RAA Today

The Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) is made up of more than 85,000 alumni worldwide. The network is organized into 32 U.S. and international chapters, and a growing number of professionally oriented affinity groups. The RAA is run by a board of trustees, which operates through 12 board committees. We work closely with the Office of Alumni Relations, which provides integrated support of RAA activities.

The RAA has demonstrated its commitment to support of campus goals and objectives time and again. We continue to be a high-level advisory group to President Jackson, and meet with her on a regular basis. We promote the involvement of current andfuture alumni by providing practical, valuable services.

The RAA’s fund balance is $763,555 through the end of fiscal year 2003. We have built up our fund balance through sound investments and income-generating programs such as the MBNA America MasterCard® and our travel program. These programs offer services to alumni, with part of the proceeds coming back to the RAA. This income, in addition to supporting operating activities, enables us to be a strategic supporter of both campus and alumni projects.

Highlights of the Year

This year was one of increased involvement in alumni programs and added services to our members.

In order to more fully align the performance planning of the RAA with that of the Institute, the annual goal-setting process was redesigned to integrate with the Institute’s fiscal year 2004 budgeting process. The RAA’s six action plan goals have been fully integrated into the Alumni Relations operating plan for fiscal year 2004.

Staying in touch with alumni continues to be a critical mission. Printed materials, such as Rensselaer magazine, chapter news-letters, and event invitations, are important, but the immediacy of electronic communication brings it to the forefront of our outreach program. AlumServ, at, features the most current information on events, programs, career/ networking services, and much more. There are discussion boards, free E-mail for Life, and the alumni database RenSource.

The RAA has recognized that one of the most powerful communication tools available today is e-mail. A monthly e-mail newsletter is now available to alumni. By clicking on the subject of interest, you can link to news stories and key updates about Rensselaer. The newsletter currently has 31,000 subscribers. If you would like to subscribe, go to AlumServ and click on Alumni Electronic Newsletter.

This year an emphasis was placed on strengthening the alumni network in the regions and in affinity groups. Through strategic grants in funding, the number of affinity events have grown and regional chapters in Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Texas, are now functioning at high levels with new and energetic leadership.

We completed an important project begun last year, the full integration of Rensselaer at Hartford into the RAA. Rensselaer at Hartford alumni now enjoy the full benefits of membership in the RAA, and the Hartford regional chapter and the Rensselaer at Hartford alumni association have been merged to create a stronger, more vibrant organization to serve the many alumni in that area. We will continue to forge new ties with Rensselaer at Hartford alumni, to discover new ways to serve this important group of alumni.

This year’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to Harvey Zeve ’52 for his dedicated service to the RAA and the Institute. Zeve is a former president of the RAA, as well as a member of the Institute Board of Trustees. The Chapter of the Year Award went to the Boston Chapter for the second year in a row, while the Phonathon Award went to Westchester. Visit AlumServ for a listing of all of the awards presented over the course of the year, including Fellows Awards, the Albert Fox Demers Medal, the Alumni Key Award, and the Teaching Award.

Future Focus

Plans for fiscal year 2004 call for continued growth and even greater service to alumni. Following are the 2004 goals:
  • Expand the e-mail address database to more than 36,000 alumni.

  • Increase income sources by $25,000 annually to boost the number of initiatives finan- cially supported by the RAA. New programs will include an alumni merchandise program offering high-quality items such as hats, shirts, glassware, coolers, and more; a Rensselaer class ring program; and the expanded RAA travel program.

  • Work with the Institute and Alumni Relations to create a weekend program in fall 2003 with a focus on attracting young alumni, and the intent of introducing a Homecoming Weekend in fall 2004.

  • Continue to implement Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame initiatives that celebrate Rensselaer’s exceptional heritage to the advantage of the Institute.

  • Assist the Institute with an alumni survey to promote a better understanding of where alumni are in terms of their satisfaction with Rensselaer and the RAA, and their unmet needs.

  • Increase the number of participants in regional and affinity events.

As always, one of our goals is to see more alumni become involved, whether it is with the RAA or in other areas that support the Institute. If you wish to become involved, a good step is to learn what is happening within the RAA — nationally, locally in your region, and on campus.

There are numerous ways for you to get involved to help yourself and your alma mater. If you want to provide some of your time to help, the Volunteer Relations Program matches interest and volunteer needs on a case-by-case basis. You can find out more about this through AlumServ or call Alumni Relations at (518) 276-6205. I know the volunteer role has been rewarding to me. I have seen other alumni benefit from their connections to Rensselaer and, in turn, I have seen the Institute benefit from the support and the involvement of our fantastic alumni.

Leland Bishop ’60
RAA President

Rensselaer Magazine: Fall 2003
President's View Your Mail From the Archives Hawk Talk Class Notes Features
Front Page At Rensselaer Milestones
In Memoriam Making a Difference Staying Connected
Rensselaer Home Page | RPInfo | AlumServ Home Page

Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in March, June, September, and December by the Office of Communications.

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