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Making a Difference in the Lives of Students and Alumni

Rensselaer Alumni Association President Bob Forman ’61 reports on the RAA’s commitment to Rensselaer


Alumni get a chance to share their wisdom (and RPI tales!) with new students at the annual RAA Welcome Barbecue each fall.

The Rensselaer Entrepreneur Network (REN) is for alumni involved or interested in new business ventures. Alumni often participate in Venture Forums on campus.

Reunion 2006 featured two alumni who worked on the Mars Rover program.

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As Rensselaer continues the transformation that began with The Rensselaer Plan, and moves forward into a position of global prominence and international recognition, the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) is moving with it. Record numbers of alumni are being engaged, the powerful alumni network continues to grow, and the RAA remains a vital partner in the renaissance taking place on campus.

A key component of the success of the RAA is its close partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations. The mission and goals of the RAA are closely tied to those of the Alumni Relations Office, and the collaborative effort has resulted in high-quality programs and services and a vibrant worldwide alumni network.

The mission of the RAA is to: “serve and represent alumni and the Institute, by engaging and empowering all alumni as active and effective partners in the Rensselaer community; and by promoting the lifelong, mutually beneficial pursuit of the aspirations shared by Rensselaer and its alumni.” We do this through the programs we create, the benefits we provide, and the alumni network that we support.

2007 Action Plan
The RAA’s long-range strategic plan for 2007-2012 is in alignment with The Rensselaer Plan. Each year, the RAA produces an action plan that is the implementation of this long-range plan.

Over the past several years we have worked to expand and strengthen the chapter and affinity infrastructure. We are today focused on supporting the university’s highest priorities.

The 2007 plan contains steps to develop benchmarks for programs and enhancement of the regional alumni chapter network and affinity groups, increased support of student recruitment, increased support of internship and Pathways programs, and greater investment in Rensselaer via campaign support. Alumni will provide support in the key areas of student recruitment and internship/externship programs.

Alumni and Student Engagement
Close to 90,000 alumni worldwide make up the RAA. Approximately 5,600 alumni attended more than 200 alumni events during 2005-06 (Rensselaer’s academic year). This represents a 105 percent increase in total alumni attendance since 2001. And 200 alumni were attending their first Rensselaer event. The total number of alumni volunteering for Rensselaer was 2,400 — a number we hope to grow in the coming year!

Over 3,500 students attended the many RAA-sponsored campus programs and events, which include the Back-to-Campus Speaker Series, the Red & White Student Organization, a Junior Ring Ceremony, Goldman Sachs Career Day, Zero Year Reunion, and the RAA Welcome Barbecue.

Greek Life
The RAA has positioned itself as an organization that is interested in helping all parties — students, staff, and alumni — come to a workable and sustainable solution. We believe that the Greek life system is an important and integral part of the Rensselaer community.

The RAA, AIGC, IFC, and Pan-Hellenic Council have been working closely to reach consensus and significant progress has been made by a joint alumni, staff, and student workforce led by Rick Hartt ’70, director of the Rensselaer Union.

Greek alumni have answered the call for involvement and many have become a part of the solution. I thank each alumnus/a, student, and administrator for their support during these challenging times.

Chapters and Affinity Groups
There are 27 active U.S. regional alumni chapters, and seven international chapters: Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Venezuela. More than 3,600 alumni participated in a variety of events including: visits from President Jackson, deans, and other campus personnel; career days; hockey events; local tours; picnics; and more.

A group of alumni who come together because of a common bond, such as mutual professional interest or a shared student experience, is considered an affinity group. Current active groups include biotechnology, building trades, EMBA alumni, information technology, entrepreneurship, technology law and commercialization, music alumni, the 50 Year Club, the Alumni Inter-Greek Council, and a full complement of athletic alumni groups.

2006 Financial Report
Income from operations including the credit card program, RAA travel program, alumni merchandise, insurance, and ring program totaled $135,445, and investment income was $65,200. Operating expenses plus investments in Rensselaer programs totaled $165,950, leaving a year-end balance of $1,005,000. The RAA has committed $300,000 to the East Campus Athletic Village, as part of Rensselaer’s $1.4 billion campaign.

Get Involved!
The continued success of the RAA will depend upon increasing numbers of alumni in all our programs. I hope you will consider attending a program, taking advantage of services we offer, or volunteering for a program that interests you. We are committed to growing the alumni network, providing greater benefits to our members, and supporting the work of the Institute. Be involved; don’t be stealth alumni!

Bob Forman ’61
RAA President

2006-2007 Rensselaer Alumni
Association Board of Trustees

Executive Committee
Robert S. Forman Jr. ’61

President Elect
Brian E. McManus ’61

Vice Presidents
Stuart J. Benton ’62
Catherine Eckart ’85
Lew D. French III ’83
Richard M. Hartt ’70
Cosmo D. Marfione ’00
Enrique Sales ’85
Michael H. Wellner ’64

Vice President/Treasurer
Richard O. Bollam ’66

Vice Presidents Emeritus
Glenn O. Brown ’54
David Diltz ’38

Institute Trustee Designate
Cornelius J. Barton ’58

Executive Director
Jeffrey M. Schanz

Board Members
Raj Bawa ’90
Paul J. Cosgrave ’72
Pamela J. Daum ’00
Anthony J. DeMarco ’72
Ann E. Dodson ’86
David A. Gertler ’83
Ryan B. Jones ’03
Martin E. Kosto ’99
Steve Levy ’74
Philip M. Lurie ’74
Karen A. Lynch ’87
Sandeep K. Nandy ’94
Beth Fabian Nesteriak ’00
Bridget J. Olson ’00
Marc D. Schechter ’75
Kevin M. Solli ’02
Joseph J. Sziabowski ’88

Graduate Council President
Wallace J. Morris II ’04

Grand Marshal
Carlos G. Perea ’07

Red & White President
Elisha A. Waz ’07

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