Saying they want to lead by example, all 24 members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors have already stepped forward to support the College in 2009-10 with a commitment through the Annual Fund.
“We realized that in order for us to be effective in helping the Annual Fund achieve its goals, we needed to step up to the plate early and act in a unanimous fashion,” said Board President Connie Smith Gemmer ’80 P’10. “And we wanted to inspire others to give at whatever amount they can. Participation is important.”
The leadership of the Board put out a request to the directors several weeks before their first meeting in October.
“Given the level of involvement on the part of each person who serves on the Alumni Board, it was not surprising that we achieved 100 percent participation,” Gemmer said.
Jean Tierney Taub ’58, head of the Annual Fund Subcommittee, noted that Trustee Thomas A. Sargent ’82, chair of the Annual Fund, asked all alumni in a letter this fall to give early and generate momentum in what promises to be a challenging year.
“By contributing early in the fund year, the Board is leading by example,” Taub said. She said Paul Greeley ’79, who retired from the Alumni Board this year, helped lay the groundwork for the effort.
Taub said the response – by alumni overall and by the Board – has been great, but not necessarily surprising. “The Alumni Board is pleased to give back to a College that has given so much to all of us,” she said.
Taub said alumni are acutely aware of how the weak economy has raised students’ need for financial aid. They also understand that President Higdon is “navigating through a difficult economy” and that giving is more important than ever, she said.
“Alumni continue to recognize the value of the education today’s students receive,” she said. “Many of us are very grateful for the experience we had when we were at Conn, and we hope to ensure that the college remains strong throughout these tough economic times.”