Alumni Advisory Board Meeting - July 2010
The ways in which alumni can connect with each other across national boundaries was one of the main themes of the Alumni Advisory Board meeting held at Homerton College earlier this month. The Board is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and meets twice a year.
Dr Jennifer Barnes, Pro-Vice Chancellor for International Strategy and President of Murray Edwards College, led a discussion on the importance of alumni in representing the University overseas, notably in areas in which Cambridge has an expanding presence such as the Middle East, Pakistan and Beijing. The University relies heavily on the network of over 370 Alumni Groups around the world to act as ambassadors for Cambridge and they play a key role when the Vice-Chancellor and other senior academics travel.
Mark Dollhopf, Executive Director of the Association of Yale Alumni, presented the Board with an alumni relations philosophy from a Yale perspective. Yale recently doubled its alumni relations staff and budget to implement a three-year strategic plan entitled ‘Ambassadors for Life’. The AYA philosophy asks Alumni Groups to consider how their local community can be changed because Yale alumni are there. As an extension of this, Yale organises the Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) to help strengthen university alumni relations around the world and expose alumni volunteers to other cultures.
Mr Dollhopf and Kathy Edersheim, Association of Yale Alumni volunteer and Chair of the YaleGALE Committee, were attending the meeting as guests.
The recent awards given to CAM, the alumni magazine - the 2010 Robert Sibley Award and Gold Award from CASE, the Council for Support and Advancement of Education - were among the items highlighted in the management report from Nathalie Walker, Head of Alumni Relations. Nathalie also reported on the appointment of a supplier for a new alumni online community, due to be launched in spring 2011. The Vice-Chancellor comes to the end of her tenure on 1 October; this was therefore her last meeting as Chair. She was presented with a gift in appreciation of her transformation of alumni relations at Cambridge, and of her leadership of the Alumni Advisory Board.
The Board’s next meeting takes place on 31 January at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London.