216th Meeting Minutes

Chair David Silbersweig ’82 opened the meeting by reviewing the previous meeting’s minutes. The motion passed to accept the minutes.

Robin Albing Tu’81 presented highlights from the Dartmouth on Location (DOL) program, noting that the four keys to a successful event are a targeted audience, a compelling venue, a blockbuster exhibit, and a superstar faculty presenter. She showcased the Matisse event at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Michelangelo event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and the National Museum of African American History event in DC. With the aid of survey data, the DOL staff fine tune topics, locations, dates/times, and speakers for events. Promotion of these exciting events includes save the date emails, registration emails, and the social media campaigns.

Albing updated the committee on how the campaign and the 250th celebration will be integrated into 2019 plans for Alumni Lifelong Learning and Travel. A series of “Super DOLs” will kick off in NYC on January 12 with ice skating under the green-lit One World Trade Center.  Other events will follow in DC, Denver, Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, the Bay Area, and finally Boston on December 13. Volunteer host committees will be needed in each city.

Albing added that Alumni Travel sponsors 35–40 trips per year involving 700–800 travelers. Faculty accompany most trips as hosts and speakers while tour guide duties are assumed by tour operators. Some trips focus on family or service. New programmatic ideas are welcome, particularly if committee members hear about high-quality exhibits or events coming to their cities. The videos of various faculty lectures can be viewed online.

Professor Susan Ackerman ’80 spoke with the group about her work with the DOL and travel programs. Since the DOL program began in 2008, they have slowly moved away from all-day events held on weekends to shorter weeknight events that are more accessible to all ages.

The committee then discussed the Rassias Award and the nomination process. Silbersweig read a description of the Rassias Award to remind the committee that the award is for faculty who demonstrate engagement with alumni, not for professors alumni remember fondly from their student days. The award was to be presented that day to professors Susan Ackerman and Vicki May.

Suggestions for next meeting’s agenda included the inclusive excellence initiative, the House Communities, faculty workloads, best practices for overall faculty career tracks, the tenure process, and the Living and Learning Communities.

Brandi Johnson ’01 will become chair of the committee. Jonathan Lazarow ’05 was elected as vice-chair.

Chair Barbara Rollins ’84 greeted the committee. The recent Alumni Day of Service, on which 37 projects were held around the country, was discussed. Photos of participants can be found on Flickr. Project successes included the involvement of new organizations and co-sponsoring of projects, which could lead to increased collaboration for future events. Challenges included communicating with a single point of contact for each project, the timing of project creation and registration, and publicity. The committee provides infrastructure/event ideas to groups who wouldn’t otherwise plan an event. Ideas to incentivize participation include recognition for the top three service projects, service projects in different categories, or the “best new project.” Post-event communication with participants is key.  A month of service or “season” of service might provide more flexibility.

The committee discussed how to support the mission of the committee with projects around the 250th anniversary of Dartmouth, Reunions, and the Call to Lead campaign, as well as how to partner with Dartmouth clubs to attract potential applicants to the College.

The committee then learned about the Bridges to Impact program. This fellowship program, designed to help students find jobs in the nonprofit sector, is in its first year in New York and Washington, DC. Students are paired with an older and younger alum. Committee members could assist with finding mentors; help get the word out via the Alumni Council; help identify individuals to build the program out in other regions; and share model communication with friends or others who might be willing to lead a program in their own region.

The committee mission statement was revised to read: The Dartmouth Alumni Council Service Committee fosters the Dartmouth spirit by connecting alumni to one another to address needs in their local communities around the world. We encourage alumni engagement through community service and work with the College and alumni groups to facilitate service organized by and for alumni, including the annual Dartmouth Alumni Day of Service.

Rachel Bogardus Drew ’98 will become chair. David Dietze ’78 was unanimously elected vice-chair.

The Alumni Council Athletics Committee spring meeting featured a series of updates from Dartmouth Athletics and the committee’s working groups, as well as two panels focused on the Dartmouth athletic experience. The committee heard how the “Dartmouth on the Road” group aims to engage alumni around Dartmouth teams’ road games and is excited to be building a new interactive schedule with the Dartmouth Applied Leadership & Innovation Lab to promote greater engagement. Dartmouth Peak Performance, or DP2, is working to support further connections with student-athletes and improving their preparation for careers. The committee heard about the opportunities student-athletes have on campus and beyond and learned about two 2018 Winter Olympians as well as four current student-athletes from Ivy Championship teams.

Chair C. Alec Casey ’88 opened the meeting. Jon Goldstein, executive director of advancement communications, served as guest speaker. Goldstein walked committee members through the communications plan for The Call to Lead, Dartmouth’s newly launched $3 billion campaign. He shared how key messaging was developed and disseminated, explained the goals and functionality of the campaign website, and outlined future communications strategy to support and convey the College’s vision. Committee members weighed in on what messages resonated for them and what areas they were interested in better understanding. Committee members thanked Casey for his leadership. Carrie Fraser ’86, Th’87 assumed responsibility as chair of the committee. Spenser Mestel ’11 was announced as the new vice chair of the committee.

Chair Ben Schwartz ’06  opened the meeting with a welcome and a preview of the meeting. Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, discussed the state of admissions at the College.

Coffin offered insight on what he has learned and observed over the course of his first two years in his role. Coffin was struck that 92 percent of admitted students noted excellence in teaching as the most important factor in their college search, with access to faculty being a close second. Knowing this, the admissions team has worked hard to change the Dartmouth narrative it is sharing. Coffin has reimagined on-campus admissions events such as open houses and the Dimensions yield programs so that faculty are front and center. The impact of these events has been tremendous. More and more admitted students are saying that Dartmouth was their first choice, as demonstrated by the exceptional yield of around 61 percent for the second year running.

Coffin shared that the Class of 2022 is fully enrolled and is on target to be the right size of approximately 1,150 students. He affirmed that the wait list will not be used for the second year in a row and the admit rate was the lowest in the history of the College at 8.7 percent. Finally, Coffin discussed the financial aid goals that are part of The Call to Lead campaign. He explained that the replacement of loans in financial aid packages is a critical part of Dartmouth’s commitment to middle income students (loan replacement is already happening for low income students). He also shared his excitement about the restoration of need-blind admissions for international students.

Meg Lysy ’99, director of the Admissions Ambassador Program, followed Coffin and provided a brief overview of the accomplishments of the interviewing program this year. She shared that the overall number of alumni interviewers has grown to 6,500 and these volunteers submitted just over 15,000 interview reports.

Nicole Moser ’89 was elected as the next vice chair of the committee.

Chair Cuong Do ’88 reviewed the agenda for the meeting:

  1. Benchmarking and the Center for Professional Development
  2. Next steps for the committee
  3. Break out into working groups

Roger Woolsey, director of the Center for Professional Development (CPD), introduced the topic of benchmarking and how the CPD compares to the Liberal Arts Career Network and the programs of other Ivies. According to Woolsey, the data he put together with Eva Wang ’19 indicates Dartmouth lags behind other schools in funding and in resources available to students.

Woolsey meets with all the career directors at the Ivy Plus conference every year. Some offices are better funded than others. Employers are finding other ways to reach students through technology.

Potential partners include:

  • The Dartmouth Lawyers Association
  • Faculty members
  • Tuck Career office
  • Thayer Career office
  • Key employer recruiters

Practical tools such as workshops in the Microsoft suite would be helpful for students. The Tuck Bridge program has become very popular for undergraduates, and it may be offered more often.

Walter Palmer ’90 has been named the new director of Lifelong Connections and Professional Programs. He is very excited to work with programs that can assist both students and alumni with career development.

The committee hosted a Future of Work symposium at the end of April. Approximately 135 undergraduates and 140 graduate students/alumni/others attended the symposium, and it was extremely well-received. Future programs might include partnerships with DEN or Women of Dartmouth. Next year the committee would like to plan two symposia — one that focuses on alumni and another that focuses more on students, while still open to alumni. 

A letter from the Internship Working Group titled “Enhancing Dartmouth Students: Experiential Learning and Professional Development Opportunities” will be sent to groups, clubs, and classes. Reunion classes might be interested in funding internships as part of their class projects.

The Student Experiential Learning Fund (SELF) has less funding than what is available through Dickey, Rocky, and Tucker. However, more students apply to SELF than to the other centers. Less than 50 percent of students who apply to SELF received funding this year. Faculty should recognize the importance of internship funding. Student surveys could record the experiences students had during their internships.

Student Engagement Working Group chair Michelle LaFond ’83 reviewed the activities of the year, including networking events and the symposium. She also shared some suggestions from the group, including identifying varying needs by class year. Informal networking can take place on a walk or over coffee. Opportunities include interview prep with alumni, programming at the house communities, teaching students how to network, and partnering with Women of Dartmouth or DEN.

During the winter break, local clubs could offer internships, teach interview skills, or review resumes. A “program in a box” could be offered to the internship chair of clubs. Councilors could offer resume review during their meetings. First year students and sophomores may have different needs.

Todd Donovan ’92 Th’92 will serve as chair of the committee next year. Walter Foster ’83 was elected vice chair. The committee thanked Cuong Do for his leadership.

Chair Molly Van Metre ’81 opened the meeting and invited members to introduce themselves.

Van Metre shared an overview of the discussion from October’s meeting; noting the following takeaways:

  • Committee does not align with priorities of Alumni Relations
  • The mission of the committee reflects the mission of the entire council
  • There is much overlap with Professional Development and the Young Alumni committees
  • The committee wants action, to do something, to produce

Van Metre next introduced a proposal to recast the committee in support of Alumni Relations’ communities. This could be a work in process and would begin with identifying ways in which we can engage with various communities and develop constructs to engage with students and connect them to these communities from the date they step onto campus.

Van Metre and Jonathan Scherr ’08 led the group in brainstorming ideas and questions, such as how to offer value to current students; facilitate club engagement for students; be a resource for recent grads for help with housing and networking; act as a conduit between alumni experts and the students who are hungry for that expertise; and support opportunities for connection such as the Hill Winds Society, the Daniel Webster Dinners, and the Class Connections Program.

The group discussed next steps including inventorying programs and connections that exist, and engaging with past chairs to learn what’s been done. First, the committee must identify what problems to focus on solving. This includes taking an inventory of these problems from an alumni perspective as well as a student perspective. This approach will provide an understanding of solutions that currently exist, or those that may not be possible.

Young Alumni Committee Chair Amber Bryant ’12 Th’12 welcomed guests and attendees introduced themselves.

An election was held to determine the vice-chair. The outcome will be announced after the meeting.

Jeff Hafner ’02, Dartmouth College Fund class managing director, and Victoria Gonin, Alumni Relations deputy director, then spoke about the role of Young Alumni in The Call to Lead campaign.

Input needed from young alumni includes: What makes a great volunteer experience? What kind of programming would make them attend a Dartmouth event? How can we communicate most effectively with recent Dartmouth alumni about The Call to Lead? A new term, “Recent Alumni of Dartmouth,” (RAD) will be piloted.

The comprehensive campaign was launched in April and early May, with young alumni events at launches in New York and San Francisco. Any gift to Dartmouth over past three years and for the next four will be included in the campaign (including gifts to the DCF and athletics.) The need for increased awareness of the campaign among young alumni was discussed.

Dartmouth has held the second-highest participation rate in the Ivy League among the 10 most recent classes for the last five years. Participation rates at most schools have been declining over the last several years. Camp Granite invites young alumni class agents back to campus. This helps these classes hold steady with giving each year.

Young alumni can help raise awareness of the campaign and inspire others to have a role in advancing Dartmouth’s future. A RAD Campaign Advisory Group has been formed. Priorities for young alumni include financial aid, energy and sustainability, and student mental health. The Dartmouth’s editors wrote a positive editorial about the launch and the campaign. There was further discussion about the campaign and events.

Next on the agenda was an update on the Big Green Affair and Class2Class programs. Young alumni can give feedback or suggest ideas for the campaign at these events.