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Alumni hear progress report and approve new bylaws

Alumni Association President Jamie McLaughlin ’76 reported to alumni Saturday on Reunion Weekend that the association has enjoyed significant progress over the past year. He also introduced changes to the group’s by-laws at the annual meeting, all of which alumni voted to approve.

McLaughlin began by praising Alumni Affairs Director Sherri Jones for rejuvenating her office. He noted that the association’s leadership began an effort five years ago to draft a long-range plan that would make it more relevant. A proposal submitted by Ed Alkire ’58 and Dee Jacob ’74 was trimmed down, but most of the committee structure adopted by the Alumni Association Executive Committee reflects what was outlined in the proposal.

Progress over the past year has been “pretty remarkable,” said McLaughlin. The main thrust has been to boost the “relevance and connectivity” of what the Alumni Association offers its constituents. Alumni increasingly are dispersed around the globe, making it more difficult to reach them and raising the importance of electronic communication, he said.

The regional chapters program has received a shot in the arm, he noted, as strategic areas are targeted by alumni affairs staff. A number of chapters have been established or revitalized, and plans are for the roster of 26 active chapters to double in the next few years.

Alumni affairs has organized annual programs for each class of students to make them more familiar with the office and the Alumni Association, McLaughlin reported, and the Executive Committee has attended Convocation for the incoming class during the past two years.

He highlighted the success of the inaugural Orientation to Life program in March, where students and young alumni heard from top speakers in the financial services field, including Thomas Orecchio ’90, one of top 100 financial advisers in the nation.

“It was an exciting effort to reach out to undergraduates and young alumni,” said McLaughlin.

More than 130 alumni are serving on Alumni Association committees, he noted, and regional chapter officers bring the total number of volunteers to more than 300.

McLaughlin urged the group to register for the Alumni Online Community and visit the alumni web site, which will unveil a redesigned home page in the near future.

Alumni unanimously voted to approve the following changes to the Alumni Association By-laws:

  • Merging the association’s constitution and by-laws into one document
  • Consolidating the several classes of membership to alumni and honorary members
  • Expanding the minimum advance notice required for the annual meeting from five weeks to 45 days
  • Changing the name of the association’s governing body from the Executive Committee to the Alumni Council (the current Alumni Council “has no real functions”)
  • Establishing that election of the Alumni Council will be by its members, with the exception of the president-elect, who will be chosen by all alumni who choose to attend a regular or special meeting
  • Enabling the designation of association committees by the Alumni Council rather than through the by-laws
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