2013 Large Club of the Year:
Dartmouth Club of Maryland

Benjamin Franklin once asserted "Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." The Dartmouth Club of Maryland, under the strong leadership of President Meredith Raucher `06, is the embodiment of old Ben's sentiment.

Over the past two years, this club has demonstrated a growth unlike no other. Since fiscal year 2011, the club has increased the number of dues payers by 38%, more than doubled revenue, completed five times the number of interviews and more than quadrupled the number of events they hosted. Fiscal year 2012 was the start of this amazing transformation and the club's executive committee kept the momentum going strong through hard work, dedication and creativity.

Being innovative while limiting financial risk was one of their goals and they more than accomplished it. An example would be the introduction of "free events" such as watching a Ravens or Orioles game at a bar together or an alumni brunch where guests pay for their own meals while the club bought mimosas. These types of events were especially appealing to the younger alumni.

Another very popular and powerful program by the club is their continued support of the Baltimore Station, a homeless shelter which primarily serves veterans. On three different occasions, alumni donated and cooked dinner for the men and then spent time socializing with them over the meal. This has become a very special event for all concerned.

Like many clubs, Maryland promotes their activities through paper and electronic newsletters as well as on Facebook and the web. Their revamped website has seen a 19% increase in visits just since 2012. A unique feature of the site is a guide to the Baltimore area for newcomers, which includes a list of alumni who can be contacted as resources for schools, doctors, real estate, etc.

Meredith and her dedicated executive committee have truly embraced another adage, this one by author Samuel Johnson, "Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."

Please join me in congratulating the 2013 Large Club of the Year, the Dartmouth Club of Maryland.