October 26–28, 2017

Chair Molly Van Metre ’81 opened the meeting and invited new members to introduce themselves and describe their expectations of their participation and contributions to the Student Affairs committee.

Molly shared some results from last year’s committee survey and invited the remaining committee members to share how their experience has compared to their initial expectations. Molly also announced that, given some overlaps in focus and interests, the Student Affairs committee will be joining with the Professional Development committee for the second half of the session.

Molly welcomed current Alumni Council president Jack Steinberg ’88. Jack remarked that he is hearing that the Student Affairs committee is craving to “do” something and noted that the Communications Committee was in the same place three years ago but has since developed into a committee with clear deliverables and defined responsibilities.

Jack welcomed Martha Beattie ’76, vice president for alumni relations. Martha shared some history of the Alumni Council and its committees as well as her vision for how the committees can support the work and goals of Alumni Relations.

Discussion amongst the whole committee ensued, with sentiment reflecting that members seek a chance to “do something”, have tangible deliverables that benefit Dartmouth and add value to the student and alumni experience.

Molly read the mission of the Student Affairs committee: “The Committee on Student Affairs monitors and reports on all aspects of student life to both the Alumni Council and, through the councilors, to the alumni body. At each of its meetings, the committee has extensive dialogue with several undergraduate and graduate student leaders regarding current ‘hot’ campus issues” and invited members to brainstorm on possible deliverable and outcomes.

It was noted that the committee needs clarity of mission. Does the committee exist to prepare students to be alumni or to enhance the student experience itself? Members also expressed a desire to create a better forum for communication between students and alumni.

The committee joined the Professional Development committee. Chair Cuong Do ’88 welcomed the group and provided an overview of the history of the Professional Development committee. Molly shared that the Student Affairs committee is on a mission of discovery, with an interest in moving from listening to delivering; to satisfying members as alumni but also being part of the “uplift of the student experience one way or another.” Recognizing some overlaps with the Professional Development committee, the Student Affairs committee was pleased to be able to join and share in the discussion.

The committees heard presentations by Jean Romeo, director of market research, and Roger Woolsey, director of the Center for Professional Development, about opportunities for alumni to engage with students, as well as internships, externships, and other opportunities for students and alumni connection.

The meeting was adjourned following brief Q&A, conversation, and a commitment by both committees to continue the discussion of how best to forge mutually-beneficial connections between alumni and students.