Fall 2013 Alumni Board Update

Greetings fellow alumni,

After another invigorating Alumni Board weekend, I have much to share with you. The three days I spent on campus were jam packed with presentations and updates from the College president and President of the Board of Trustees, and from a variety of staff members from numerous departments.

Importantly, 6 new alumni board members were welcomed into the fold, as well as a new alumni trustee member.

Our New Board Members are as follows:

These new members are terrific and have already made significant contributions to the alumni board. Be sure to thank them for their service the next time you see them. We do have fun on the Board, but when it comes time to work, we roll up our sleeves and get at it.

The Board generally has been focusing its efforts on two priorities:

First, we are looking to develop new ways to help our newest graduates find jobs in a difficult economy. We want to engage the entire alumni body of some 21,000 alumni and we will do that by concentrating our efforts to build and strengthen the Wooster Alumni Network.

Second, we are encouraging the continued growth of the The Wooster Fund. Our collective respect and affection for our College is not fully reflected in our percentage participation in The Wooster Fund. We want to change that by helping to develop a new culture of giving – both on campus and among the alumni.

Here’s an update on some of what was covered during the weekend:

tumblr_mwb8k57sLv1r3e43ko4_r1_1280We continue to focus our attention on the now year-old group of student-focused intentional advising program which the College calls “APEX.” APEX stands for Advising, Planning, and Experiential Learning and consists generally of 5 different offices, all brought together as one. The offices, a significant study area and meeting space, are located on the lower level of the library. When you are back on campus, it is worth a look. Ask for a tour, one of the students at the desk will be happy to oblige.

Annie Partika '15 spent her summer working with Literary Lots in Cleveland, which transforms vacant lots in Cleveland into artistic settings of children's storybooks.

2013 APEX Fellow Annie Partika ’15 spent her summer working with Literary Lots in Cleveland, an organization that transforms vacant lots in Cleveland into artistic settings of children’s storybooks.

The Board discussed with APEX professionals the impressive growth experienced by APEX, including the many programs being created and overseen by the professional staff, as well as the students being helped by APEX. APEX fellowships offer structured and mentored support to students engaged in summer internships or vocational exploration programs. The generous gift given by the Andrew Family will propel APEX’s mission forward to help more students at Wooster. We are searching for ways to collaborate with APEX to allow more alumni to assist our newest grads as they transition into the working world. We want your help and we solicit your ideas. Please feel free to contact me or any of our alumni board members.

We also were delighted to participate in the sophomore dinner, coordinated by Lisa Kastor, Director of Career Planning and Landre McCloud in Alumni Relations. Every year, the alumni board has dinner with the sophomore class as a way to provide guidance to Wooster’s younger students during an integral time in their education. About 35 students were in attendance, and the topic of this dinner was focused on the students’ planned major and general career and life experience advice. Actually, we all just enjoyed talking with the sophomores. Their energy, enthusiasm for all the possibilities in front of them was refreshing.

We then received an update on The Wooster Fund and learned the great news about last year’s efforts and this year’s goal. The Wooster Fund is Wooster’s annual unrestricted fund and a portion of the fund goes directly to scholarship funds and other programs, which directly affect students. We also talked about integrated marketing, and how The Wooster Fund is improving their direct mail and web communications strategies so that these efforts function as one. I urge you to keep Wooster in mind as you prepare for your year-end tax planning. A gift made before December 31st provides a charitable giving tax deduction. You can make a secure gift online at www.wooster.edu/givenow. You can also double your impact with a matching gift. To learn more about this program, visit www.woosteralumni.org/mg. Please show your interest in the College by making a gift to The Wooster Fund. I am grateful for your support. (And please know that each and every gift is important – give at the level that is best for you – that is what is best for the College).

The alumni board was both delighted and enthused to spend two days with Karl Penn ’90, the president of the Black Alumni Council (BAC). In the future, the alumni board and the BAC plan to work more closely together to the benefit of all alumni and to the benefit of the College.  There is much we can accomplish together and our two groups look forward to working together going forward.

Kara Morrow, left, and Sararh Van Oss '16, right, discuss final extended labels written by the student curators of "The Performative in African Art," November 14-December 6, 2013.

Kara Morrow, left, and Sararh Van Oss ’16, right, discuss final extended labels written by the student curators of “The Performative in African Art,” November 14-December 6, 2013.

We enjoyed student presentations on their exhibition titled “The Performative in African Art” in the Ebert Art Center and were mesmerized by a new a capella group, Shades of Gold. They were fantastic! You can relive the magic by watching this video of the group performing in Ebert. We could not stop talking about the wonderful job done by both the student presenters and Shades of Gold. This is why we come back to campus!

coachcolapreteWe also snuck in a football game, which featured a fierce 4th quarter come-from-behind win against Ohio Wesleyan 28-27. They were down 27-7 at the half, and miraculously turned the game around. There is no quit in this team. With the win, the Fighting Scots finish the season with an overall record of 7-3; a five win improvement from last year and the largest one year improvement in NCAC history. In other football news, Coach Colaprete is up for Liberty Mutual’s Coach of the Year Award. Show your Wooster pride and recognize the team’s achievements by voting now!

We also had the pleasure of sharing a meal with two newly tenured faculty members Christa Craven, and Angela Bos – and heard from them about their research projects and scholarship. Angela Bos discussed her research on the effects of HDTV on Obama and McCain during the 2008 presidential debate.

We spent a great deal of time discussing Wooster, its mission, and how alumni can further the mission together with President Grant Cornwell, and Dave Gunning, President of the Board of Trustees. The conversation was informative and we agreed to continue the discussion so that the alumni board is used to its maximum potential to the benefit of the College and its alumni members.

Finally, we completed the process to select the next alumni board president, as well as select the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Our alumni base is deep, accomplished and talented, and that allows the Alumni Board the luxury of having to make difficult choices to select DAA recipients. It is a good problem to have – one which Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver of the Baltimore Orioles used to refer to as “deep depth.” We definitely have that among our alumni.

In brief, we accomplished a lot, and we all felt invigorated by the experience. On behalf of your entire alumni board, we thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our College. We wish for you a Happy Thanksgiving, and a safe and happy New Year to follow.

Always Wooster Proud!

David Gilliss (’80)
The College of Wooster Alumni Association


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