Alumni Column: Lifelong Learning: the Colgate Education

Christain Teeter

As you navigate your undergraduate years at Colgate, it is critical to remember the distinguished nature of your educational experience on campus. The close interaction with faculty, the challenging assignments, the engaging group activities and the repeated application of your intellectual, analytical and social skills in your academic and extracurricular activities provide an educational opportunity that is second to none. 

Colgate has reinforced many of the strong skills you developed in your K-12 education and helped you take those skills to a new level. Your advanced skills in analysis, research, critical thinking and writing will assist you greatly in the corporate world or in the pursuit of graduate study, helping to propel you to the highest performing levels of your respective field beyond Colgate. The leadership of Colgate’s alumni in many different professional and academic fields is testament to these facts.

With these ideas in the background, your commencement from Colgate will also mark a new beginning that harkens your life experiences toward a more unstructured future that will compel you to use all of your skills and abilities to successfully advance within a career or applied field of graduate study. You are not “done” at commencement– instead, your life experiences are just beginning. 

You will enter the real world equipped with a set of skills and an education that will greatly assist you in reasoning, critical thinking and an appreciation of “learning how to learn” when faced with difficult professional or academic challenges. Joining the “real world,” therefore, after graduation means that you will, at that time, officially have status as an alumna or alumnus of Colgate. We want to emphasize that your lifelong relationship with Colgate is only just beginning. 

Our graduates that lead and coordinate the University’s alumni efforts understand this lifelong relationship and want to ensure that each of you, after graduation, will have ample opportunity to relive, and reflect upon all of your outstanding experiences on campus as you move forward in your pursuits after college. 

Colgate believes all alumni are entitled to opportunities that allow them to reflect on and value their distinguished education by Colgate’s offering of stimulating intellectual events with faculty in the field, online initiatives that assist alumni in reconnecting with the school through stimulating courses and on-campus ventures that afford alumni opportunities to return to Hamilton to re-engage with faculty members in the invigorating learning environment that is inspired by the sylvan beauty of the Colgate campus.

The Colgate Alumni Council works diligently to promote the University’s academic legacy and traditions to all graduates. In 2015, the council officially formed a “Committee on Intellectual Engagement” to advance these causes on a regular basis. Going forward, this new committee, along with the Council, will regularly review, analyze and discuss opportunities that can provide a greater depth of alumni activities and programs. The committee is considering new approaches to bring together Colgate’s intellectual dynamism and the institution’s newly formed alumni Professional Network groups to drive the articulation and coordination of alumni events across the country and world in more consistent ways.    

We are excited about these opportunities and the ways that we can continue to intellectually engage you in your lifelong relationship with Colgate, now, while you are on campus, and for many, many years afterward as alumni.