Alumni Executive Council Business Meeting

Alumni Association Logo

January 28, 2023
10:30 A.M. EST

Vice-President Chelsea Lloyd called the meeting to order at 10:30 am EST.

Following roll call by Secretary Laura Patrick, a quorum was documented.

Present: Baucom, Bennett, Brooker, Cassidy, Colucci, DeCamp, Francis, Frank, Giles, Gross, Hann, Higgins, Jenkins, Kallet, Kay, Lancaster, Lloyd, Martin, McManus, McSweeney, Merrell, Palley, Patrick, Reyes, Richman, Ryan, Slater, Smith, Tsutsumi, Wean, Wieland, Williams, Willis, Wilson, Zaid, Zonitch

Not Present: Ballaine, Bates, Boyer, Byrne, Chung, Colton, Danielson, Johnson, MacKenzie, McGee, North, Russell, Santini, Stern, Wells

A motion to approve the October 21, 2022 Business Meeting minutes was made by Molly Hann and seconded by Gary Zonitch. Tracy Kay had one amendment to the notes. He was present for the October 21, 2022 Business Meeting. Pending the suggested change - none opposed, minutes approved.

President’s Report – Chelsea Lloyd

Vice President Chelsea Lloyd standing in for Sue North. She requested that in Sue’s preparation for the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting that members please send any photos they may have. Mary Baucom has set up a Google drive to which they can be uploaded. Mary will provide specifics.

Campus Report – Kim Hissong

Kim provided updates in two categories:

1) Fundraising: The University is in its second fiscal year following the record-setting “Campaign for Every Laurentian.” Annual revenue the first year following the Campaign was approximately $19 million. The goal for the fiscal year ending in June 2023 is $22 million. Advancement feels confident that SLU is on pace with $12 million in current gifts and pledges (includes new gifts, major gifts, phone solicitations, new multi-year commitments).

The University has also secured an additional $4 million needed to begin the second phase of renovations at Appleton Arena. The second phase will be focused on DIII sports including improved workout and locker room facilities. This will clear up more space in the current athletic buildings.

From a St. Lawrence Fund perspective, gifts and pledges are about $4.9 million against an objective of $6.9 million. This reflects an increase in dollars and number of donors versus last year.

2) Advancement Office: As previously announced, Tom Pynchon will be retiring after 30+ years with St. Lawrence and has planned to stay on in a part-time advisore role to the President. As the search for his replacement continues, he will stay on working from his new home in New Hampshire travelling to campus as necessary. St. Lawrence is conducting a national search led by Storbeck Search. The Advancement team is currently working to prepare for the new hire. AEC will have an opportunity to get to know Tom’s replacement once he arrives on campus. Dennis Ryan asked if they thought the hiring would be complete by early June (Canaras meeting). The University is hopeful the position will be filled by then.

Student Delegate Report – Dean Brooker, Alex Reyes, and Masashi Tsutsumi

Alex Reyes reminisced that “a lot of great things” happen in the Hannon Room at the Sullivan Student Center. (It’s where Thelmo meets, among other activities.) He then went on to talk about recent campus events such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in the chapel bringing the campus community together with music, poetry, and more. Alex mentioned the successful return of SLU Connect events in Washington, DC and upcoming SLU Connects in San Francisco, Boston, and Burlington.

Masashi Tsutsumi mentioned the success of the St. Lawrence team at last November’s Fed Challenge Challenge finishing in the top 20% of competitors. The team used the Bloomberg Terminal extensively and the Lab is now fully outfitted with 15 terminals. Tsutsumi also mentioned the 35 international students who remained on campus during the holiday break. He thanked council for the meals and goodies supplied and mentioned there were 36 activities over the break period for these students.

Dean Brooker updated Council on the success of the recent “Saints Accelerate” program (a revised version of Sophomore Bootcamp). Forty-seven second-year students and 13 third-year students participated. The program was a little smaller than usual which resulted in more one-on-one opportunities for students. A quick sports update included the news of a new squash coach. The squash team is currently preparing for nationals.

Dean then shared his thoughts about hearing what he called “SLU Stories”. He shared a brief journey of a student-athlete who had recently overcome a serious health diagnosis only to get back in shape and go on to help his team win a big game over the weekend. He said these stories are what he, and many other students, appreciate and find to be truly meaningful and help them define and understand what it means to be a Laurentian. He encouraged everyone to tell their SLU story.

Alex concluded by thanking the AEC for his “great experience” of being a student delegate.

Treasurer’s Report/Finance & Resources Committee – Gary Zonitch

Gary Z. filling in for Paul began by thanking the committee and their new St. Lawrence liaison, Rich Basler. In preparation for the budget vote, Gary 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. 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.

To review, the budget for 2023 is $42,450 with revenue of $30,000 pending from the University and available cash of $88,264. The Internship Endowment Fund is currently $353,922 and the Power of Connections Endowment fund is currently $286,893. These figures include cash and pledges. Rich B. will be helping us with the management of these funds as we move forward and look for ways to increase available funding.

Mike Kallet began his report by congratulating Gary and Paige on the success of the auction. He then shared an update on the Power of Connections Task Force efforts. He confirmed Gary’s mention of the current fund balance. The task force is continuing to work on a stretch objective. These efforts will conclude on June 30. They will continue to reach out to current and former AEC members who may still want to contribute (94% of current members have made contributions). Mike also clarified the difference between the AEC ‘s two endowment funds. The Internship Endowment was established with a narrower definition of use specifically focused on supporting student internships. The Power of Connections is written to provide more flexibility in the usage of available funds providing a broader basis for impact.


Molly reviewed the slate, as confirmed by the earlier straw vote, and directed all members present to use their paper ballots and for all joining by phone to use a Survey Monkey site (available through their phones) to place their official votes. The results indicated approval of the slate as presented: President – Laura Patrick, Vice President – Sally McSweeney, Treasurer – Gary Zonitch, and Secretary – Paige Palley. Ed then expressed his gratitude for the current officers and their willingness to help with an additional year of service.


Admissions – Doug Smith & Sarah Wieland

As we heard from Florence Hines, college admissions, both specific to SLU, but also in general, continue to be challenging. Sarah asked everyone to reach out to five SLU connections to help with admissions efforts. Spreading the word about St. Lawrence will help alumni engagement as well as admissions efforts. Note writing continues to be an important part of how AEC supports admissions – the personal
touch potential students received is a unique and appreciated effort. Doug reinforced this message mentioning the positive feedback Florence has received. Additionally, leverage our connections both in primary and secondary markets/states help increase SLU’s reach to qualified applicants. Kim mentioned that notecards will be sent soon for both admissions notes as well as thank you’s for contributions to St. Lawrence. Please recognize – the cards for each are different.

Advancement & Engagement – Sally McSweeney

Sally M. presented the report on behalf of the A & E chairs. She reviewed high level efforts as we emerge from the event limitations of the COVID pandemic. In-person events have increased including presidential events and a travel opportunity to Spain. The committee continues to work (with Joe K.) on an affinity-based strategy for engaging alumni. This includes specific graduate years (ex. 2020-2021, 1990’s, sports teams, clubs, etc.) and increase targeted giving. The 1856 Challenge will take place April 25 & 26 and there will be challenge opportunities. The group continues to work on ideas for increasing engagement for giving in general and for creating every year donors.

Communications & Marketing – Mary Baucom

The committee submitted an article for the Winter St. Lawrence Magazine. It was a piece written by Sue N. regarding inauguration weekend. Mary mentioned that the committee’s liaison, Deb Dudley would be leaving St. Lawrence. A new liaison has not yet been identified. Mary will begin work on the AEC Annual Report. She will be sending templates to committee and task force chairs. If you have pictures that can be used in the report, Mary will provide a Google drive link. Photos can also be submitted via e-mail to Mary.

Membership & Honors – Molly Hann & Ed Higgins

Molly offered her congratulations to the new slate of officers and thanked the current slate for their service. She also thanked all those who wrote vision statements in consideration of being nominated for an office. M & H continues their work to complete confirmation of new members to begin their first term in June. While the official call for AEC candidates typically occurs during the summer, nominations are accepted at any time. The committee has also been working on identifying the recipients of the Doug Brown Award which will be announced during Moving Up Day festivities. They will also be requesting applicants for student delegates within the next few months.

Student Services – Anne Slater

Anne Slater provided the report for Student Services. She began by thanking Cheryl and Jen for their leadership. There was great feedback on the Career Conversations program. The Holiday program was held over winter break for students unable to travel home during this time. AEC was able to help with meals, supplies to the food bank, goody bags, notes for individual students. Through the AEC endowment, AEC was able to provide approximately $7,000 in travel assistance for Connect programs. Currently, the committee is working to identify possible recipients for a recognition event.


Auction – Paige Palley 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

The task force is still collecting D&I goals from committees. They are expecting to participate in a ZOOM meeting with Kimberly Flint-Hamilton shortly to hear about campus initiatives. A suggestion has been made to invite Brenda Papineau to one of our upcoming meetings (Canaras?). Diversity & Inclusion week is scheduled for 2/25 – 3/4/2023. AEC will be sponsoring a lunch in honor of Daryl Davis (R & B and blues musician and activist). He will be speaking and performing on campus during D&I week. The task force will be looking into the possibility of having a webinar so as to make the sessions available to alumni. The Campus Climate survey is scheduled for this fall.

Faculty Engagement – Anne McGrath McManus and Anne Cassidy

The task force continues to help with recruiting for the Laurentian Learns series. There is an upcoming event with Aileen O’Donoghue. Please send any topic ideas you may have identified as a result of your conversations at the faculty dinner and if you have any ideas for a faculty session at Canaras. The faculty dinner received a lot of positive feedback. In general, participants felt it was nice not to have a specific agenda for a change and just be able to relax and enjoy broad conversation. Anne Cassidy will be sending a list of the faculty present at the dinner for follow-up/thank yous. Anne is aware of three AEC members who have been invited to speak in an upcoming class.


Chelsea Lloyd asked for any new business. Sally McSweeney asked if dates for upcoming meetings were available. Kim provided confirmed dates as June 8 – 11, 2023 for our summer meeting at Canaras and October 5 – 8, 2023 for our Fall Meeting on campus (this is NOT during Laurentian Weekend).

Lauren Bennett offered a word of appreciation for presenters describing visuals to those on the conference line.


All joined in singing Alma Mater.

Motion to adjourn was offered by Dennis Ryan and seconded by Michael Richman. The meeting was adjourned at 11:37 am EST by Vice-President Chelsea Lloyd.

Notes submitted by Laura Patrick, Secretary.