Alumni Column: A World of Connections

Scott S. Hague, Class of 1996

Is it possible that the further away we get from our time in Hamilton, the closer we get to our Colgate community? As I approach my 20th reunion this summer, I reflect upon the wonderful times on campus and look forward to reconnecting with my classmates and playing a few rounds of golf on one of America’s great courses. However, just as meaningful to me, has been the opportunity to meet and connect with the Colgate community around the world since graduation.

Following graduation, I followed a path to New York City to begin a career in finance. Almost immediately, I began to discover the significance of our alumni network, both professionally and personally. Regardless of what city I visited, or even lived, there was always an opportunity to connect with someone from Colgate.

Over the years that followed, my career benefited greatly from that connectivity. I had the great fortune to work for two alumni. When my career brought me to London, I had the opportunity to hire students with the help of our study abroad programs, as well as hire students into full-time programs. Beyond finance, professionally, I routinely “bump into” alums in other disciplines such as law, consulting, accounting and politics. Once the Colgate link is established, there is a meaningful connection.

In January, many of us had the pleasure to connect in the Hall of Presidents with some second-year students considering life after Colgate as part of the Sophomore Connections program. A couple of things struck a number of us as we gathered for dinner afterwards at the Colgate Inn. Initially, it was not only how wide ranging the ambitions were, but also how advanced students were in thinking about their potential pursuits. The discussion that followed surrounded how many fellow alums, in any number of fields, came up in those brief conversations and how wide ranging our network is. Even among the small group at dinner, new connections were established, experiences shared.

The bond Colgate graduates feel with the college and each other is unique. I cannot express how many times graduates of other schools mention to me how noticeable and powerful our network is. Upon graduation, you will all have the opportunity to experience a network that expands the globe, offers social and professional enrichment and allows us to reconnect to a special place and time in our lives.

For seniors preparing to leave campus, it is an exciting and anxious time. I can remember, as if it were yesterday, sitting with some friends by Taylor Lake the night after graduation looking up at the hill, the beautiful lighted chapel, reflecting on great memories, thinking “Colgate” was over. In fact, it was just beginning. It is up to you to take advantage of it.