Alumni Involvement Makes It Happen
Alumni involvement is critical to the growth of many programs both on and off campus. Volunteers help recruit the finest students from around the globe. They help plan Reunions and regional events, organize networking opportunities, interact with current students, and offer expertise to departments. Alumni also are crucial to encouraging philanthropic support for the Annual Fund, class gifts at Reunion, and more.
The power of alumni volunteerism is clearly demonstrated in the accomplishments of the Class of 1951. Led by its steering committee Howard Clarkson, Mike Cocca, Ernie Coleman, Fred Comstock, Bob DeSio, Bob Fopeano, Al Harrison, Walt Loick, Dick Lupi, Carl Machover, Tony Reale, Paul Vapnek, George Wheeler, and Fred Williamson the class has made its presence felt in many ways.
The Reunion committee meets regularly to keep communication among classmates open during the period between five-year Reunions, and organizes mini-Reunions whenever and wherever possible. Members of the class are active on the 50 Year Club Board of Directors and with the Hudson-Mohawk Retirees Group. When campus events such as the RAA Welcome Barbecue for incoming students invite volunteers, Class of ’51 alumni always step forward to participate.
A special contribution has been the formation of three endowed funds supported wholly by donations from classmates. The Class of 1951 Teaching Award Fund recognizes deserving faculty for outstanding performance in their work with undergraduates. The Student Entrepreneurship Award provides seed money for students working in the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. And the Transfer Student Scholarship supports students transferring to Rensselaer in their junior year. Over the past five years, these awards have given class members the opportunity to take an active role in the academic life of campus as they develop relationships with the students and professors who are the beneficiaries of the awards.
“The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students is one of the reasons our committee members volunteer for RPI,” says steering committee chair George Wheeler. “It is incredibly rewarding to see these students succeed, and to know we’ve been a part of it. And we have a lot of fun while we do it!”
Interested in being part of the Renaissance at Rensselaer? There are as many ways to get involved as there are alumni willing to help. To find out more about volunteer opportunities, contact Laura Bedford at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 276-3757.
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