Alumni Executive Council Virtual Business Meeting
June 11, 2022
President Sue North called the meeting to order at 10:51 am EST.
Following roll call by Secretary Laura Patrick, a quorum was documented.
Present: Ballaine, Bates, Borden, Boyer, Cassidy, Colton, Colucci, Danielson, DeCamp, Frank, Gross, Hann, Higgins, Jenkins, Kay, Lancaster, Lloyd, McGee, McManus, McSweeney, Merrell, North, Palley, Patrick, Reyes, Richman, D. Ryan, Slater, Smith, Wean, Wieland, Williams, Willis, Wilson, Zonitch
Not Present: Baucom, Bennett, Brooker, Byrne, Chung, Cochran, Francis, Giles, Glass, Green, Jenkins, Johnson, Kallet, MacKenzie, Martin, Russell, Santini, Stern, Tsutsumi, Wells, Zaid
Also in attendance emeritus members Sally Kelly and Paul Levi.
A motion to approve the 29 January 2022 Business Meeting minutes was made by Sally McSweeney and seconded by Don Jenkins. No opposed, minutes approved.
President’s Report – Sue North
President North began her report by expressing her gratitude at our being able to be together in person even if not at Canaras. She was in attendance at the latest Board of Trustees meeting which took place over Commencement Weekend. It’s primary focus was on President Morris’ strategic plan (shared with us this weekend). She also called attention to increased signage on campus (one example is the naming of the walkway that runs between Kirk Douglas Hall and Noble Center). Additional street and campus signage will be installed over the summer. This is a result of President Morris’ desire to provide easier navigation and visual branding throughout campus
Campus Report – Kim Hissong
- Campaign Update: St. Lawrence has completed it’s largest fundraising effort in it’s history with donations of $231 million. We are now in a post-campaign phase which typically results in slightly lower donations. This fiscal year’s (ending 6/30/22) objective was $20 million. Currently commitments are at $16.3 million. The goal of $20 million may still be attained over the last few weeks of the fiscal year. Kim explained that “Operating Cash” generally equates to the St. Lawrence Fund supporting requests for day-to-day funding. The goal for the St. Lawrence Fund is typically $8 million. The post-campaign goal this year is $6.5 million. Donor participation is up about 200 alum donors which is equivalent to about 1%, putting us at 21% overall alumni participation.
- A recent grant through the Alden Trust will provide funding to renovate the old café in ODY Library and transform it into a Bloomberg Terminal lab. It is anticipated that this will have a big impact from an admissions standpoint. The new renovation will include a stock ticker. The current grant will fund the initial construction to be followed by a $2 million fundraising effort to increase the number of terminals and grow the space into a robust finance lab.
- As a sign that things are beginning to open up again post-COVID, President Morris will be on the road to host Presidential receptions. She will begin with an event in Clayton, NY on 8/31/22 (NYC-September 14, 2022). Larger in-person regional events will be upcoming. Doug Smith asked how we can find out about regional events. Kim responded that a section can be added to the newsletter to keep everyone apprised.
- The dedication of the Lisa M. Cania, M’02, P’07 Alumni Council Campus Room in the student center is scheduled for September 10, 2022.
- Marketing materials for President Morris’ inauguration are being finalized this coming week. Keep a look out and please block your calendars for our next meeting occurring during this weekend.
Elizabeth Colucci asked for an update with regard to capital improvement efforts (dorms and Dean Eaton…) Kim informed us that a study has been done and the estimate to renovate Dean Eaton alone is approximately $10-$15 million. Updates to residential buildings are at the top of the list for physical plant improvements, but tend to present a challenging fundraising effort.
Sally McSweeney asked about rumored renovations at Camp Canaras. Kim was unable to get photos of the dining hall renovation in time for this meeting. Some cabins have also been refreshed, but many of the renovations were things like plumbing and electric and other items that needed to be addressed as a result of COVID down time. Kim will share photos when available. You may also see some in the St. Lawrence Magazine.
Sue North thanked Kim and Brandy Sanderson for all their hard work and dedication to keeping us on track!!
Student Delegate Report – Alex Reyes
Alex (current president of Thelmo) shared that as a result of reduced spending due to COVID, Thelmo had surplus funding in excess of $1 million. There was much discussion on what could be done with this money. Given prioritization of mental health, they decided to use the underrun in their budget to help fund an endowment fund which will be restricted to programming supporting mental health initiatives.
In addition, Alex shared he is enjoying his internship in Washington, DC.
Treasurer’s Report/Finance & Resources Committee – Paul Danielson
Paul began by thanking his committee for all their efforts over the last, unusual, year of reduced expenditures and ad hoc requests due to COVID. Current available cash is $88,264 representing underruns plus $30,000 in income. (The AEC fiscal year runs January 1 – December 31.) This year’s budget is approximately $47,000 which represents budget requests of $17,000 over our annual income. It is anticipated that the return of an annual auction and funding provided by our endowment funds will continue to help close this gap. As a reminder, distributions from the endowment funds is 5% of balances as of March 31 of each year.
Paul reminded the group that the budget includes assistance for young alumni members.
Budget requests for next year are due September 22, 2022, with a vote for approval at our next business meeting in October. Budget requests will be carefully reviewed and no placeholders / TBD’s will be allowed.
Admissions – Sarah Wieland
Sarah extended a big thank you - admissions notes to accepted students tripled this year. The intention is to continue to grow the number of volunteers (currently around 220!) to increase our reach to accepted students.
Advancement & Engagement – Carol Lancaster and Randy Wilson
Randy shared the following:
- Graduation gifts to the Class of 2022 went over well. Up-graded water bottle with a note from the AEC and a QR code for scanning and updating post-grad contact information. Will continue to look for more cost-effective options for next year’s class.
- The committee wants to continue to look at possible ways to design a regional alumni “club” format as well as researching opportunities for business focused programming especially in the area of entrepreneurship.
- On the Advancement side – the team is continuing to look at areas to create more focused giving opportunities in areas of alumni interest (i.e. supporting the expansion of Bloomberg terminals in the finance lab…)
Communications & Marketing – No Report
Membership & Honors – Molly Hann and Ed Higgins
Molly welcomed new AEC members Tracy Kay, Britton Wean, and Lexi Williams.
The recent primary focus of the committee has been on new member recruitment and nominations. If you have nominated a person in the past, please remind us and update your nomination if possible. Julie Willis asked if particular member groups (determined by grad years) might be light in nominations. Molly responded that they’d like to see additional nominations for grads 1990-2000 and 1988-1999.
Committee members will be reaching out to current AEC members completing their first terms in 2023 to determine intention/interest for second terms.
Student Services – Elizabeth Colucci and Cheryl Gross
Elizabeth Colucci thanked Cheryl G. for her “awesome” dedication to the committee. This past year found the group continuing to try and respond to more immediate needs of students through the Holiday Program (providing meals and holiday cheer) and recognition of certain students groups (CA’s, etc.) Elizabeth also thanked those involved in Career Conversations and Connections programming. SLU Connect programs in Washington, DC, Boston, MA, and Burlington, VT were all well-attended and well-received!
TASK FORCE REPORTS:
Affinities & Affiliations – No Report
Auction – Paige Friedlander
Paige thanked everyone for responding to the auction survey. Please continue to offer ideas for auction items as the task force works to identify other possible items for the AEC to offer. Monetary donations are welcome and will be used to purchase / fund items offered. The auction will be held over Laurentian Weekend and on-line so that all interested may participate.
Diversity & Inclusion (Task Force) – Samantha Colton and Anne Slater
Sam reported that the task force had a great kick-off meeting. They look forward to receiving DEI goals from the other committees and task forces. They are brainstorming ways to involve different alumni and engage families during Laurentian Weekend. There was also a recent opportunity on-campus with prospective students. They hope to continue to look at the evolution of task force to committee standing.
Faculty Engagement – Anne McGrath McManus and Anne Cassidy
The task force is hoping to have some interaction with faculty over our next weekend on campus. This would be in addition to classroom visits that are typically scheduled on Thursday afternoon. Faculty Engagement is working with Joe K. and Victoria L. to identify faculty for the Laurentians Learn line-up. Anne urged members to write accolades notes to engage with faculty as well as letting the task force know when you have a great interaction with a faculty member.
President North made a request for new business. No new business.
Gary Zonitch took the opportunity to remind us of the remaining efforts being made on behalf of the Power of Connections Endowment Fund. Perhaps calculate what wasn’t spent on AEC trips to campus and Canaras and make a donation in lieu of your travel expenses…!
All joined in singing Alma Mater.
Motion to adjourn was offered by Doug Smith and seconded by Cheryl Gross. The meeting was adjourned at 11:48 am EST by President Sue North.
Notes submitted by Laura Patrick, Secretary.