Alumni Executive Council Business Meeting
October 21, 2022
1:30 P.M. EST
Vice-President Chelsea Lloyd called the meeting to order at 1:40 pm EST.
Following roll call by Secretary Laura Patrick, a quorum was documented.
Present: Ballaine, Baucom, Bennett, Brooker, Cassidy, Colton, Colucci, Danielson, DeCamp, Francis, Frank, Gross, Hann, Higgins, Kallet, Kay, Lloyd, MacKenzie, Martin, McGee, McManus, McSweeney, Palley, Patrick, Reyes, Richman, Ryan, Slater, Smith, Tsutsumi, Wean, Williams, Wilson, Zaid, Zonitch
Not Present: Bates, Boyer, Byrne, Chung, Giles, Glass, Green, Jenkins, Johnson, Lancaster, Merrell, North, Russell, Santini, Stern, Wells, Wieland, Willis
A motion to approve the June 11, 2022 Business Meeting minutes was made by Cheryl Gross and seconded by Ed Higgins. None opposed, minutes approved.
President’s and Campus Reports
No President or Campus Reports. (Sue North attended the Board of Trustees Meeting; Kim Hissong managing Presidential Inauguration programming.)
Student Delegate Report – Callie Ballaine, Dean Brooker, Alex Reyes, and Masashi Tsutsumi
The students each introduced themselves (first meeting attended by newly appointed delegates). Alex Reyes, senior from Bronx, NY; Dean Brooker, sophomore from Kouga, South Africa; Masashi Tsutsumi, senior from Minato, Japan; and Callie Ballaine, a junior from Seattle, WA.
Alex stated that things are pretty much back to normal on campus as COVID restrictions have been, for the most part, lifted. There are still some restrictions in general and when testing positive. With regard to mental health, there has been improvement as COVID restrictions have relaxed. Students also have access to more counseling appointments, etc. due to the increase in counselor staffing and improved/additional mental health programming. Across campus work is being done to increase student engagement that had been impacted by COVID. Student life is becoming more “normal” as campus activities and traditions resume. Focused attention is being given to students who were First Years during the tightest restrictions.
Masashi shared that there has been an increase in interest for off-campus study. The Center for International and Intercultural Studies (CIIS) held an information fair to help students learn more about their wide range of offerings. Masashi also mentioned that he had recently attended, and enjoyed, the SLU Connect event in Burlington, VT and the recent NYC Semester event in New York City (he participated in the program last year).
Callie spoke to us about Greek life. Rush was back to in-person and Greek house fundraisers and activities have resumed. The International House is now located in their own space at 62 Park Street – students are enjoying this new, dedicated space.
Dean Brooker gave us a brief sports update primarily focused on the activities during Laurentian Weekend. He also mentioned the establishment of career and mental health spaces located in sports offices providing hours that work around practice schedules. Dean also mentioned the success of the Sergi’s dinner offered during Laurentian Weekend. As a member of the squash team, he talked about their efforts to interact with visiting alumni on a broader basis. Instead of their usual alumni tournament, the team offered squash clinics and lunch with the team.
Masashi ended the student report by offering thanks to the AEC and alumni in general.
Treasurer’s Report/Finance & Resources Committee – Paul Danielson
Paul began by thanking his committee. Finance and Resources has a new St. Lawrence staff liaison, Rich Basler. In preparation for the budget vote, Paul referred to the spreadsheet provided in the meeting packet. He pointed out that the “actual” spending number only reflects YTD numbers and would change slightly by our fiscal year end on 12/31/22. Current available cash is $95,088 with current expenses of $42,450. Expected ending cash for 2022 is approximately $52,639 with $30,000 funding from the University expected in July, putting available cash for 2023 at $88,264.
Paul addressed some changes that will impact the AEC budget. The NYC Semester event will now be funded by the university as the event’s purpose becomes more internal to the program (connecting students with more NYC alumni who may serve as mentors / advisors to program participants). We will now also have funding provided by the Power of Connections endowment to support programs previously paid out of our annual budget. Next year it is anticipated that the fund will provide around $8,000. This year’s AEC Silent Auction designated it’s proceeds to the Power of Connections Fund.
After a review of 2023 committee budget requests, F & R is recommending that all be funded for a total of $36,500.
Prior to the budget vote, Paul asked for questions. Nancy Frank asked about syncing up the financial calendars (University and AEC). Paul said he would investigate. Randy Wilson asked about future auction proceeds going directly to the AEC budget. Currently, we are being advised proceeds need to go through the university to maintain non-profit status for tax purposes. The committee is working to understand what options we may have to ensure AEC tax-exempt status before directing auction funds directly to the Council budget. (This also addressed a question from Dennis Ryan.)
With no other questions, Chelsea asked for a motion to approve the 2023 budget as presented. Randy Wilson motioned to approve, with Michael Richman offering a second. All approved, none opposed.
Admissions – Doug Smith
The committee continues to work on efforts that support Florence Hines and her team. Note writing to accepted students will continue with the intent of increasing the number of admitted applicants reached. Per Florence, this has proven to be one of the “best ways” to convert accepted students to committed students. The team is also hoping to help coordinate more (coming back after COVID restrictions) in-person admissions events (BBQ’s, etc.). Admissions is also working on developing virtual fairs that feel like the college fairs held previously with opportunities to speak with admissions representatives.
Dean Brooker shared that as an international student, cost is a big detractor and encouraged messaging around SLU’s significant financial aid packages in relation to peer institutions.
Communications & Marketing – Mary Baucom
Mary was excited to share that, for the first time ever, the AEC had full page representation in the latest issue of the St. Lawrence Magazine. The committee continues to value liaison Deb Dudley as a great partner. Current efforts by the committee are aligning well with magazine content. The Winter issue (now closed) will feature young alumni.
Work will continue on updating AEC presence on the St. Lawrence website and Mary encouraged committees to reach out with their communications, editing, and marketing needs.
Advancement & Engagement – Randy Wilson
Randy thanked Mary Baucom for joining their morning committee meeting. The group continues to brainstorm ideas around engaging alumni. One area of focus is on efforts highlighting and supporting entrepreneurial alumni. Randy mentioned an idea around SLU labeled wine – more on this as things develop. Another area of focus is on increasing awareness of, and participation in, leadership giving (gifts of $2,500 plus). Recent discussions have focused on the kinds of experiences and/or access (to leadership at SLU) that may motivate this level of giving. Randy mentioned the team has a lot of excitement and motivation!
Membership & Honors – Ed Higgins
Ed announced that solicitation for officer nominations for next year’s slate will begin next week. He reminded us that the current officers’ terms had been extended by one year so as to allow for membership to continue to get to know each other and feel comfortable with the nomination process. Additionally, M&H will be working to identify potential new AEC members. There will be 21 open spots for June. It is unlikely all will be filled. Typically, 6-8 new members are brought on each year.
Student Services – Cheryl Gross
Cheryl spent some time talking about the afternoon’s upcoming International Tea and what to expect during the session.
Student Services / Center for Career Excellence is now fully staffed with the addition of three new members.
Upcoming programming includes a re-branded Sophomore Bootcamp. This year it will be open to juniors as well. Participants will be targeted by Career Services as they look for alumni, parents, etc. in specific careers to round out the programming. If you are asked, please say “yes”!
Cheryl mentioned that work will be starting on the Holiday program for students remaining on campus during the winter break. They will also be working on putting together Career Conversations as well as the possibility of a session with a student group for our Winter Meeting.
TASK FORCE REPORTS:
Auction – Paige Friedlander and Gary Zonitch
Paige thanked everyone for items donated to the auction. Donations came from current and former council members and members of the Parent’s Committee. Many have raised their hands to offer items for future auctions. The 2022 Laurentian Weekend auction garnered 207 bids on 23 Items over a variety of price ranges. Per Gary, auction bids totaled $29,577.03. After fees and other expenses for marketing and platform, proceeds totaled $26,904.03. This was against an initial net objective of $6,000.
Laura Patrick asked how the “next bid” levels were determined. Gary explained these were generated by the auction platform software. He suggested the task force may want to look at these levels more closely in future to the extent smaller required “next bids” may encourage increased interaction between bidders and potentially boost income.
Diversity & Inclusion (Task Force) – Samantha Colton and Anne Slater
Anne thanked committee members for their interest and involvement in the area of DEI. All committees and task forces are represented on the committee and are working to ensure their efforts are inclusive. The task force will help AEC look for ways to be involved in upcoming campus DEI events involving HEOP, Presidential Scholars, C-Step and McNair Scholars among others. The task force will continue to work with Kimberly Flint-Hamilton to provide AEC support to campus DEI programming.
Faculty Engagement – Anne McGrath McManus and Anne Cassidy
The task force is working to help with recruiting for the Laurentian Learns series and will be working again to provided class visit opportunities for our Winter Meeting as well as looking at options for our Thursday evening programming which has typically involved faculty in some way.
Power of Connections – Gary Zonitch
The new total for the Power of Connections endowment (cash – including auction proceeds, and pledges) is approximately $281,000. The committee will continue to reach out to current and former AEC members who may still want to contribute.
Chelsea Lloyd asked for any new business – none brought forth. She then thanked Barb Knauf for helping us with meeting logistics, etc. in Kim Hissong’s absence.
All joined in singing Alma Mater.
Motion to adjourn was offered by Randy Wilson and seconded by Don Martin. The meeting was adjourned at 2:48 am EST by Vice-President Chelsea Lloyd.
Notes submitted by Laura Patrick, Secretary.