The dedication of retiring Alumni Affairs, Communications & Advancement Vice President Ruth Ann Loveless ’72 did not go uncelebrated. On April 8, Loveless went to the Hall of Presidents anticipating a small dinner to celebrate the time she devoted to Colgate. When she arrived she was greeted by 170 people including alumni, friends, family, colleagues and council members from both past and present. The biggest surprise of the night came when Loveless was told a committee had raised $350,000 toward an endowed scholarship in her name.
“I am overwhelmed by the scholarship and the generosity of so many,” Loveless said.
Loveless has a deep connection with Colgate that stretches back 27 years. Loveless began her service at Colgate in the Center for Career Services and Development. She worked in these departments for eight years leading up to her involvement in the alumni office. While working for the alumni office, Loveless served as the executive secretary to the Alumni Council. Three times a year, 55 committed alumni return to campus to serve on a board to help establish programs such as the Maroon Advantage. This collaborative project with Career Services is “an outreach program for alumni by alumni to help with career issues” Loveless said. “We were thrilled that the senior class identified this as their class gift project.”
In addition to serving as executive secretary to the Alumni Council, Loveless has communicated with thousands of Colgate alumni to inform them of changes and keep them connected with Colgate.
“I have general responsibility for all the programs that my office sponsors” she said, “[but] it is important to note that I have an incredible staff who amaze me with their creativity, initiative and very hard work.”
Alumni Affairs helps to staff 50 alumni clubs across the country and abroad. Alumni Affairs helps “provide support for our alumni of color organization (they will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year) and LGBTQ alumni group,” Loveless said.
Alumni Affairs helps support many programs on campus for alumni to participate in to keep their Colgate spirit alive. They help organize Summer on the Hill, tailgates, homecoming, Reunion that brings “back about 2,000 alumni and guests each year for four days” and many more activities, Loveless said. “I feel that I have been so lucky in this job — I get to represent a very special university, meet hundreds (if not thousands over the years) of wonderful alumni who have the most interesting stories to tell.”
Loveless’ connection with the Hamilton area extends past Colgate as well.
“As someone who served for many years on the Hamilton School Board and the Madison- Oneida BOCES Board of Education I have long had a strong interest in education in the area,” Loveless said. “This scholarship unites that interest with my love for Colgate. What could be better or more important?”
Loveless officially retires from alumni affairs on June 1.
When asked about how she felt about the transition she said, “I will be retiring in six weeks and in one sense it is hard to imagine, but I really feel that it is time and look forward to a new stage in my life. However, it is an emotional time because of the relationships I have established and I will be very teary when I leave.”
Loveless has not made plans for retirement yet, but has three grandchildren that live in Hamilton and looks forward to spending more time with them.