|THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS||VOLUME XVIII NUMBER 1 Fall 2002|
Turning the page to new chapters
After serving for four years on the KSC Alumni Association Board of Directors it is a great honor to serve as president. I would encourage anyone who has a desire to work on behalf of the College and the Alumni Association to consider running for a seat on the Board of Directors. It is a very rewarding volunteer experience. I have had the opportunity to work with and become friends with people who graduated many years before and after me. The common link is that we all have very similar positive feelings about our Keene State experiences. We are a working board made up of alumni who roll up their sleeves and work on projects and events along with setting policy and direction for the Association.
This year has gotten off to a fast start. One of the best examples of rolling up our sleeves is the Freshman Welcome Tent that the Alumni Association sponsors on move-in day. Every year we host a tent where we provide hot dogs and sodas to the incoming freshmen, our "future alumni," and their parents as they move into the dorms for the first time. This year we provided 1,800 hot dogs and about 50 cases of sodas to students and appreciative parents. Alumni volunteers spent the day making these new members of our community feel welcome.
The next big event this fall was Homecoming, which exceeded our expectations. The Alumni Association had a huge tent out at the athletic fields where we hosted a free barbecue as well as live music for returning alumni. We saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones. Many of you returned to play in the alumni soccer, field hockey, softball, and baseball games and then stayed to support our current athletes. Again, alumni volunteers made this a success. To see photos of some our activities visit the online photo gallery at www.keene.edu/alumni/photo_gallery.cfm.
This year we will create a new way for alumni to connect with the College and others in their area. The Board's primary initiative for this year is to create a few new regional alumni chapters and to strengthen our Boston Chapter. Chapters are organizations made up of alumni in specific geographic areas. These alumni come together for social and professional networking, to assist alumni moving into their area, to host guest speakers, to attend sporting and cultural events, to work on community service projects, and to have fun in the process. In the beginning, a chapter may only do one or two of these things, but as it matures it will take on more structure and expand its activities.
In our Boston chapter, alumni have held a series of successful social networking sessions on Thursday evenings, drawing as many as 70 local alumni. Fifty alumni went to a Red Sox game together in July. They are now in the process of planning activities for the next 12 months. Possible events include a Celtics game; a visit from Dr. Y, our College president; the KSC basketball game at UMass-Boston; additional after-hours networking sessions; and a freshman send-off picnic.
We have determined that the critical mass for a successful chapter is an alumni population of about 300 within an easy, one-hour commute. Prime on our list for new chapters are Manchester, N.H.; the New Hampshire and southern Maine seacoast centered at Portsmouth; Hartford, Conn.; and even Keene. The alumni office will fund organizational mailings to alumni in these areas and underwrite initial gatherings. If you would like to be involved with starting a chapter in one of these areas or have an idea for an event please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write Mike Maher in the Alumni and Parent Relations Office at email@example.com.
I look forward to seeing you throughout the upcoming year, and especially at a chapter activity.
Jody O'Brien '82