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Rensselaer Alumni Magazine
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The Alumni Network Goes Virtual

Students with computers

Rensselaer, a place rich in history and tradition, is undergoing a transformation. Over the course of 180 years, slide rules have given way to laptops. Lecture halls are being transformed into interdisciplinary research labs. “Tin Town” has been replaced by residence halls fully equipped for modern living and learning. And while the global Rensselaer alumni network remains as vital as ever, the methods alumni use to tap in also are changing with the times.

The virtual alumni network has become a powerful tool for connecting with fellow graduates for personal and professional growth. Just ask Sheriff Mohammed ’02 and John Hamilton ’73, two alumni from different backgrounds, class years, and parts of the world, who ended up in Dallas, Texas. They might never have met if not for an online networking program offered by the alumni office. “I was excited to be able to mentor an RPI alumnus,” says Hamilton, “and I guess my enthusiasm rubbed off on Sheriff!” Inspired by the benefits they found in the mentoring relationship they formed, they decided to restart the Dallas alumni chapter as a way for other area alumni “to connect with each other and RPI so we can socialize and network,” as their mission statement says.

“The online networking services made all the difference, for me personally and for the new Dallas chapter,” says Mohammed. “With the resources available on @RPInet, the alumni Web community, we’ve created a chapter e-mail account, started a discussion board for our members, we register for our events online, and search the alumni database for new members.”

The Dallas Chapter now boasts a planning committee of approximately 10 members who communicate with more than 550 alumni in the Dallas area. They’ve already held several successful events, and are looking forward to planning more in the future. (Visit www.alumni.rpi.edu/si/regional.html for more information on Dallas and other alumni chapters.) And Mohammed and Hamilton have built a strong, mutually beneficial partnership based on their Rensselaer connection.

@RPInet has a full range of services for alumni seeking to connect with other graduates. The Alumni Search feature helps match alumni based on a range of criteria. You can update your contact information, and choose what you would like to have available for other alumni to see with “My Profile.” E-mail for Life provides an @alum.rpi.edu address that you can keep regardless of changes in your service provider. Online event sign-up is secure and simple. Discussion groups on a wide variety of topics exist to allow you to converse with alumni in your class, professional affinity, or chapter, or you can start your own group for your particular topic of interest. And new modules are being added all the time.

Sign up for @RPInet at https://arpinet.rpi.edu using the ID number that is printed on the mailing label of this issue of Rensselaer magazine, and join the virtual networking revolution!

Photo by Mark McCarty

Featured Alumni Events are listed on the AlumServ Web site.

RAA Worldwide Travel Program Presents “2005 Triple-Header”

Fenway Park

Three ballparks, four games, six teams, five days! Sound good to you? Then sign up for the RAA’s 2005 Triple-Header baseball vacation Aug. 24-28. Games include Cincinnati at Washington, Anaheim at Baltimore, and Detroit at Boston. The road trip includes transportation to games and between cities, hotel accommodations, game tickets and admission, and stadium and city tours when available. The RAA has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to bring you this exciting opportunity. Visit www.alumni.rpi.edu/ap/baseball.html for more information, or call 877-RAA-TRIP.

Chapters Host Send-Off Picnics

Each year, alumni chapters all over the country hold summer picnics. These get-togethers are a wonderful opportunity for alumni who live in the same area to meet and socialize, but they have an even more important purpose: to welcome incoming freshmen from the area to the Rensselaer family. If an event is being held in your area, consider coming out to greet the future alumni in your hometown. Scheduled events include: Westchester/New York City (July 30); Washington, D.C. (Aug. 6); Detroit, Mich. (Aug. 7); Hartford, Conn. (Aug. 7); Austin, Texas (Aug. 7); and Boston, Mass. (Aug. 7). For more information, visit us online at www.alumni.rpi.edu for details.

NEW RAA Visa Card

The popular Rensselaer credit card program has a new provider and a new look. U.S. Bank offers the brand-new RAA Visa card, which offers competitive rates and services. This new Visa card is the only one that carries the image of the Heffner Alumni House, and supports the programs of the Rensselaer Alumni Association. Visit www.alumni.rpi.edu, or contact the alumni office at (518) 276-6205.

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

Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute.
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