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Rensselaer Alumni Programs Year-End Report * *
Rensselaer Alumni Programs Year-End Report
Alumni advocacy grows as Rensselaer advances its goals.

Alumni, parents, students, and friends all participated, at record numbers, with Rensselaer alumni programs this year. As the Renaissance at Rensselaer continues, more people are participating in the life of the university than ever before.

The Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) and the Office of Alumni Relations put together nearly 210 alumni programs that took place around the world from New York to Los Angeles and Caracas to Bangalore.

More than 6,000 people participated in alumni events and programs this past year, a 160 percent increase since 2001. Of that number, over 600 alumni participated in their first Rensselaer program ever.


Much of the success is due to the strong partnership between the RAA and the Office of Alumni Relations. Alumni programs have been recognized six times over the last six years by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and several staff members have been singled out by their peers for special awards as well. Propelling this success are literally thousands of active alumni volunteers who do their part as advocates for their alma mater.

* * * *
Rensselaer Alumni Association Board of Trustees


Carrie Eckart ’85

Past President
Bob Forman ’61

Vice Presidents
Stuart J. Benton ’62
Lew D. French III ’83
Philip M. Lurie ’74
Cosmo D. Marfione ’00
Brian E. McManus ’61
Enrique Sales ’85
Michael H. Wellner ’64

Vice President/Treasurer
Paul J. Cosgrave ’72

Vice Presidents Emeritus
Glenn O. Brown ’54
David Diltz ’38

Institute Trustee Designate
Cornelius J. Barton ’58

Executive Director
Jeffrey M. Schanz


Term Expires 2008
Cassandra Bates ’91
Anthony J. DeMarco ’72M
Peter M. Miranda ’81
Sandeep K. Nandy ’94
Beth Fabian Nesteriak ’00
Kevin M. Solli ’02

Term Expires 2009
Raj Bawa ’90 Ph.D.
Pamela J. Daum ’00
David A. Gertler ’83
Joseph J. Sziabowski ’88
Elizabeth S. Tse ’98

Term Expires 2010
Ann E. Dodson ’86
Meghan M. Hartman ’04
Ryan B. Jones ’03
Martin E. Kosto ’99
Raymond A. Lutzky ’02
Karen A. Lynch ’87


Wallace J. Morris II ’04


Julia M. Leusner ’08


Robert J. Fornasiero ’08

* * *

The RAA and the Office of Alumni Relations are committed to building partnerships with departments across the Institute. Enrollment Management, the Office of the First-Year Experience, the Career Development Center, the academic deans, and the vice provost for entrepreneurship are several of the offices that were particularly involved in new programs this year.

The overall program offering continues to expand as alumni look to gather based on special social or professional interests rather than simply the traditional class or geographic identity. The successful Rensselaer Affinity Program continues to offer a wide variety of professionally affiliated groups gathering on campus, at national conferences, and locations across the country.

In 2006-2007 alumni gathered at the:

  • BIO 2007 Conference in Boston
  • 2006 Nanotechnology Conference on the Troy campus
  • Build Boston Conference in Boston
  • Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Entrepreneurship Programs in New York and Silicon Valley

Several social affinities have been formed as well, with a particular focus on involving our former student-athletes. Alumni groups have been formed for baseball, football, softball, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving.

The RAA continues to support varsity sports at all levels and this year awarded the RAA Student Community Service Award to Kirk MacDonald ’07, the captain of the men’s hockey team.

A major highlight of the year was the successful launch of a new student philanthropy program. The program is run in conjunction with a robust series of student involvement opportunities that begin when students are freshmen and continue through graduation.

Members of the Class of 2007 are the first in recent memory to give their own personal funds to support their class gift (the restoration of the 15th Street footbridge). The class raised nearly $12,600 from nearly 170 donors. This constitutes a 16 percent giving rate and marks the highest single total of any previous class, including more than 100 Student Patroons who each contributed $100 or more.

The student involvement and philanthropy program has made its mark across campus, including sponsorships of the RAA Welcome Barbecue as part of the First-Year Experience, the Sophomore Experience, the Junior Ring Ceremony, and the Red and White Student/Alumni Organization.

Outstanding student leadership is a hallmark of a Rensselaer education and the Young Alumni Council (YAC) is becoming the place for our student leaders to transition into alumni leaders. The YAC was formed to respond to the needs of alumni who graduated in the past 10 years. The council aims to increase attendance and participation in regional chapters, Homecoming, and Reunion as well as participation in the Rensselaer Annual Fund.

The RAA showed particular support this year for Rensselaer’s Greek system, which has faced challenges over the past few years, as it addresses concerns of students and alumni, and strives to become a National Model of Excellence. (See, also, “The Circle of Greek Life”) To help build positive relationships among Greek students, alumni, and the Institute, the RAA created the Community Service Award for Greek Life, presented this year to Pi Kappa Alpha. The award generated a great deal of positive publicity both on campus and in the Troy community.

The RAA has again demonstrated its significance as a valued partner to the Institute by making a $500,000 commitment to Renaissance at Rensselaer: The Campaign for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The RAA has designated $300,000 to name the Stadium VIP room in the East Campus Athletic Village, and $200,000 will support the Rensselaer BRIDGE program.

As the academic year came to a close so did the term of Bob Forman ’61, who led the RAA through two successful years. Rensselaer is pleased to welcome Carrie Eckart ’85, who became president on June 9, 2007. Eckart takes this leadership role after serving two decades as president of the Hudson Mohawk Chapter and is a former Grand Marshal of Rensselaer. She will serve through June 2009.

We look forward to another year of record growth. Your advocacy for your alma mater will make a difference!

Visit the alumni Web site at, or call the alumni office at (518) 276-6205 for more information on programs and services available to alumni.

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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.