Alumni Column: Alumni Council Accomplishments



A message from the

Colgate Alumni Council

The Maroon Advantage: Career Advis­ing for Colgate Alumni:

The Maroon Advantage is a career infor­mation and advising program which is ad­ministered by Colgate alumni for Colgate alumni. It features networking events, online webinars and other career-related activities. Events are held in six to eight cities a year, and have included events in Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and San Francisco. They focus on various career fields and career transition issues. The con­cept was developed by the Alumni Council’s Career Services Committee in conjunction with the Alumni Affairs and Career Services.

Real World:

Each January the Alumni Council’s winter meeting coincides with this important pro­gram for seniors at Colgate.

A series of seminars and workshops is planned to help students adjust to life af­ter Colgate and to be successful in their job search.

Members of the Alumni Council play a critical role in the success of this program by helping to plan it, moderating and appearing on the dozens of panels that students attend, and by networking with students between panels. Real World is a signature Colgate pro­gram, and the participation of Colgate alum­ni differentiates it from programs offered by peer schools.

The Partnership for Community Devel­opment (PCD) and Hamilton Initiative:

This non-profit organization was estab­lished in 1999 to “enhance economic oppor­tunity and community vitality in and around Hamilton, New York.” The PCD has been instrumental in the revitalization of Ham­ilton, and the Alumni Council provided fi­nancial and professional support during its formation. A major fundraising effort of the past few years, the Hamilton Initiative was founded to revitalize the downtown build­ings owned by the LLC. In recognition of the importance of this project, the Alumni Council demonstrates its commitment and 100 percent of the sitting board made a financial commitment.

Student Networking and Mentoring:

The Alumni Council meets with hundreds of students over the course of the year, host­ing networking receptions and inviting stu­dent panelists and presenters to committee meetings. Council members also find infor­mal time on and off campus for individual and small group meetings with students.

Sophomore Year Spring Break Immersion Programs:

Members of the Council, working with the Office of Career Services and the Sopho­more Year Experience, have created and orga­nized three alternative spring break programs: non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Washington D.C., the Arts in New York City and Education in Boston.


Each Alumni Council member reaches out to his/her personal network to share information about Colgate and act as the liaison with the University. They played a critical role in the development of the alumni website, and also serve as advisors on the Colgate Scene, e-communications and other publications.


In every edition of the paper, there is an alumni column, and volunteers from the Alumni Council frequently author these articles. The topics vary considerably and provide a forum for our alumni and another means of raising student awareness of their involvement with Colgate.

Rowdy Raiders:

This program through distribution of t-shirts and hosting of special events before games encourages greater fan participation at sporting events. Council members initi­ated this program and continue to provide financial support.

Focus Groups:

The Council provided advice on impor­tant Hamilton Initiative plans, ideas for Alumni intellectual engagement, and other topics of interest to the University.

Volunteer Leadership Summit I and II:

Leading Colgate volunteers, represent­ing Admissions, Advancement, Area Clubs, Colgate Affinity Groups and other volunteer groups, joined the Council in brainstorming new and better ways to connect alumni to Colgate and to one another. Great ideas and new energy were abundant, as the Council received front-line critique and advice from some of Colgate’s top volunteers. The Coun­cil is committed to inviting key volunteers on a regular basis at future meetings.

Annual Fund Outreach:

The Council often offers to help the Ad­vancement team in the home stretch of An­nual Fund solicitations. The goal is to bring in an additional one percent participation, which would have a material effect on Col­gate’s US News and World Report ranking – by having each willing Council member contact five alumni who have not yet given this year.

Young Alumni Connectedness:

The Council has been generating ideas to help recent graduates feel more connected to Colgate, finding ways to meet their needs, get them involved and keep their voices heard in the dialogue.

A measure of success will be increasing young alumni participation. There have been many ideas generated and implemented in­cluding young alumni events and “Welcome to the City”receptions.

Financial Participation:

The Council understands the importance of investing in Colgate’s future, as genera­tions of alumni have done in the past. While the size of members’ gifts varies greatly, 100 percent of the Council makes annual gifts to Colgate.