Alumni Executive Council Business Meeting Minutes

January 28, 2017

President Forbes called the meeting to order at 1:50 pm.

Alumni Executive Council Logo

I. Roll Call

Ms. North called the roll:

Members present: Armstrong, Bantz, Chrzanowski-Sears, Cowan, Dana, Danielson, Faulkner, Forbes, Hallock, Halstead (by phone), Hansen, Jenkins, Kadick (by phone), Lee, Lloyd, MacBrayne, McKee, McLaughlin, North, Peterson, Posener, Ryan (Dennis), Ryan (Molly), Sullivan, Taylor, Terrillion, Thomson, Weaver (by phone), Williams

Student delegates present: Brouillette, Weaver

Members absent: Abernethy, Chatterjee, Colucci, Fagan, Murray, Rood, Scuteri, Sprague

Student delegates absent: Miller

Mr. Forbes declared a quorum was present for the conduct of business.

II. Approval and acceptance of minutes from the Business Meeting on campus of October 23, 2016:

The minutes were approved unanimously on a motion by Mr. Jenkins and a second by Ms. Bantz.

III. Treasurer's Report:

Ms. North stated that the budget adopted and approved by Council at the December meeting was now in effect. The 2017 budget has planned expenses of $40,150 and revenue of $30,200. She reported that, calendar year to date, $453 has been expended. She stated a further update will be provided at the March meeting of Council.

Ms. Hansen asked if there were any changes or additional budget requests made by committees since the 2017 budget was adopted. Ms. North reported that there were no changes or additional requests.

IV. President's Report:

Mr. Forbes thanked members for the work performed over the weekend and reported that the Council membership expansion was proceeding well. He also informed members of the establishment of an ad hoc committee to provide leadership on the Council endowment project, a committee that will be co-chaired by Tracy Dana and Bob Rood.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would not be attending the February meeting of the Board of Trustees, in person, due to a personal conflict, but would do so telephonically.

Lastly, Mr. Forbes stated he was pleased with the theme of Council developing a closer relationship with the faculty that emerged over the weekend. He sees this as having exciting potential for Council and the University.

V. Campus Report:

Ms. Hissong reported the following staff and faculty changes at the University:

The following positions have been filled in the office of University Advancement:
•  Kurt Terrell has accepted the position of Director of Planned Gifts. Kurt comes to St. Lawrence with 20 years of development experience, most recently at North Country School and Camp Treetops in Lake Placid as Director of Advancement. At NCS, Kurt supervised all aspects of fundraising including increasing membership in their legacy society by 33% and securing major gifts while in a campaign.
•  Rosemary “Romy” Gardner ’79, P’18, P’21 has accepted the position as Senior Associate Director of Major Gifts. She will be based in the Boston area. After graduating from St. Lawrence, Romy worked for seven years in banking becoming an assistant vice president for Bank of New England before making the switch to nonprofit fundraising. For the past 25 years she’s dedicated herself to helping the people of the North Shore of Boston in a variety of capacities, most recently as Director of Development at Wellspring House, Inc., a resource for women in need.
•  Gervais (Gervy) Hearn ’80, P’08, has accepted the position of Senior Associate Director of Major Gifts. She will be based in Fairfield County, serving alumni who live and work in the Westchester and Fairfield County area. Gervy brings more than 10 years of fundraising experience for a number of non-profits including soliciting and closing major gifts while directing a campaign. She has also been actively involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and is currently the president and chairman of the board for the Fairfield County chapter.

The Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics, Steven Horwitz, has resigned his faculty position at St. Lawrence University to accept a professorship at Ball State University. 

Ben Schwartz has been appointed as camp director at Canaras.

Brian Metz was named assistant director of sustainability. He will have responsibilities related to campus energy efficiency projects and the University’s climate action plan. 

Lastly, Ms. Hissong reported encouraging news regarding Keenan Weischedel ‘17, who sustained a serious spinal cord injury while skiing in December. Keenan has been released from the hospital and is going home.

VI. Student Delegates Report:

Anna Brouillette and Ben Weaver present the student delegate report, beginning by thanking members for the opportunity to serve on Council during the past year. They stated that the recent SLU Connect Mountain States event in Montana was very well received by students, created a lot of excitement, and set us apart from other schools. Ms. Brouillette described her experience participating with 55 other Laurentians in the Women’s March that occurred recently in Washington, DC. 

Mr. Forbes presented gifts of appreciation to the student delegates, thanking them for their service to Council and the University over the past year.

VII. Committee Reports:


Ms. Lloyd thanked the members, emeriti members, and the staff liaisons (Barb Knauf and Joe Keniston) of the A&E committee for their efforts. Ms. Lloyd reported that the University’s annual fund goal for the year is $6.5 million, with $2.7 million (40%) of the goal having been reached thus far. She reported that we are down 8% from last year at this time. The year-to-date participation rate is currently flat from 2015 at 12%. She reported that the final participation rate for last year was 27%, with the goal for this year being 30%. 

To help generate fundraising momentum, Ms. Lloyd inform members that a donor challenge will held during Laurentian for Life week that will be similar in format to the 1856 challenge previously done, starting on Charter Day and ending the following day at 5pm with the chapel bells ringing.

An update was provided on the Campaign for Every Laurentian. To date, while still in the quite period of the campaign, $67 million of gifts have been pledged. Volunteer committees are being organized. The Advancement Committee will be involved in supporting the campaign to help increase the participation rate and engage the SLU network. 

Ms. Lloyd reported that the University Engagement Office has been very busy, organizing 24 events in the past 40 days. These events included the Connect programs and several hockey networking events. It was reported that each hockey event was sold out, including 225 people who attended the hockey event held in Buffalo when the Saints played Canisius.

It was reported that planning is well underway for Laurentian for Life Week and Homecoming 2017. The University is creating a master event calendar that will show all planned events for the year.

Admissions Report

Pam MacBrayne gave the Admissions Committee report in lieu of Chair Weaver who was attending the meeting telephonically. Ms. MacBrayne stated that the inaugural meeting of the committee, which split from Student Services by recent Council action, went very well. It was reported that Melissa Richards, Vice President of University Communications, is overseeing the admission division on an interim basis until the replacement for the retired Jeff Rickey is hired. In addition, an enrollment specialist has been hired to help manage the department during this interim period.

Ms. MacBrayne reported that there is “lots of good energy” in the admissions office and that new software is being implemented to better support the department and enrollment. Applications are up 6% from last year. She further stated that the office is trying to recruit more young alumni to serve as admissions associates. Lastly, an accepted student event is being organized in the New York City area as an effort to improve our yield of accepted students.

F&R Report

Ms. North reported that the Committee dedicated the bulk of its time considering future funding needs of Council. She stated that the discussion was productive and ongoing. Ms. North informed members of one particular idea that resulted from the discussions, the notion of Council creating a budget for “innovation grants”. As described, a program would be established for students to request funding to pay for items that otherwise would not be supported. Examples of the type of things envisioned to be funded included water filters and piano tuning. Ms. North stated that the committee intended to continue discussion on this idea and will report back to Council at future meetings. Student Services report – Ms. Terrillion reported that the weekend was the first committee meeting to occur since admissions separated into its own committee. She reported that four current students attended the committee meeting and presented their impressions of the recent SLU Connect events in DC and Montana. The committee is discussing how best to scale these events. In addition, the inaugural SLU Connect Boston will be held later this spring. 

Ms. Terrillion provided feedback on the mocktail event that took place on Friday. Ms. Bantz asked if the Etiquette Dinner was being reconstituted, to which Ms. Terrillion stated not at this time.

Lastly, a student video from the Mountain States event was played and received good reviews.

M&H Report

Ms. Bantz reported that 23 members of Council will be continuing on into next year. Six members are retiring in June 2017, and another four retire in June 2018. Per precedent, presidential appointees and officers are excluded from the elected member count.

The M&H Committee has issued 15 invitations to potential new members and has received acceptances from seven of invitees so far. Discussion ensued regarding ideas on how best to intake the new members who will join Council in June.

Ms. Bantz reminded Council that three members of the M&H Committee will be retiring in June and, as such, encouraged members to consider serving on the committee next year.

Alumni citation winners selected by the M&H Committee have been approved by the Board of Trustees. Ms. Bantz said an announcement of the winners will be forthcoming.

Finally, Ms. Bantz stated that the selection process for student delegates is underway.

VIII. New Business:

There was no new business.


A motion to adjourn was put forth by Mr. Sullivan, seconded by Ms. Bantz.

Meeting was adjourned by Mr. Forbes at 3:20 pm.

Minutes submitted by Bill Cowan.