Alumni Leaders Conference energizes campus community to increase alumni engagement
By Steve Seepersaud
Meredith Woitach Martin '06 is already engaged with the University and wants to become even more involved. She and her husband – Travis Martin '07 – have considered taking the lead to plan alumni events in the Rochester, N.Y. area.
They were among the 250 participants (including alumni, students and campus partners) at the Alumni Leaders Conference, an event held on campus in late April that informed alumni about the University's progress, gathered ideas to help the momentum continue and inspired alumni for continued volunteer service. The Alumni Association and campus partners — who collaborated to organize the conference — could look at graduates like Martin and say "mission accomplished."
"I think the greatest strength of this conference was the overall feeling that my input was valued," said Martin (center in photo), who also attended the 2013 Alumni Leaders Conference. "The ability to engage as opposed to passively observe was invigorating. My husband and I returned home energized and inspired to continue this in our local community."
At the conference, the Alumni Association presented the Binghamton University Plan for Alumni Engagement 2015-2020, which was the first campus-wide collaboration on strategies to increase the number of alumni participating in the life of the University. Among other things, the plan aims to grow outreach to alumni chapters and special interest groups, create more opportunities for alumni to network with each other, and increase the interactions between alumni and current students.
"Our graduates are just about the only asset we can count on to increase every single year," said Heidi Goldstein '81, who became Alumni Association president on May 1. "Not only are alumni the largest source of philanthropy our University has, but the value of an engaged graduate goes far beyond financial support. Our commitment to Binghamton is based on loyalty, and these positive feelings motivate us to serve as volunteers, advisors and advocates advancing the University's mission. Binghamton needs us — and more of us — to be engaged."
Seth Koch '61 certainly came away from the conference with a deeper appreciation for the Binghamton University of today. Although he had remained connected with developments at his alma mater, the Alumni Leaders Conference was his first visit back to campus since his graduation day.
"I had never attended a class on the Vestal campus, only in Endicott," Koch said. "It blew my mind that a student body of 400 has become more than 16,000. The best thing about the conference was making new friends, one of which lives in Philadelphia and we hope to see each other soon."
BE A VOLUNTEER! Your time, expertise and energy all have value, and they can help make our University stronger. Your alma mater needs you as a volunteer! See the many volunteer opportunities we offer and choose one that best fits your talents, interests and lifestyle.
B-CONNECTED with other graduates! B-connected is a secure virtual community only for Binghamton University alumni. Update your personal profile, search for alumni, and submit and read Class Notes.
SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE WITH US! The Alumni Relations office is asked to recommend alumni who are expert speakers. If you are well-versed in subjects including national security, politics, technology, career networking, environmental studies or etiquette, please contact Melinda Holicky, associate director for alumni volunteer engagement. Include your name, class year and a brief biography. Supporting material could include a c.v. or link to your website.
The Alumni Association and Uncommon Goods (David Bolotsky '85, founder) offer the opportunity to purchase banks made from mailboxes salvaged from Newing Dining Hall. This can be a great gift or keepsake of your time as a student.
SHOW YOUR PRIDE! The Binghamton University Bookstore is your one-stop shop for apparel, accessories and home decor goods.