Kenyon College Alumni Council
May 27, 2011
Those in attendance: John Seaman, Jr. '54, Todd Leavitt '73, P'10, Emily Resnik Conn '85, Marshall W. Chapin '94, April Yvonne Garrett '92, Joe Gioia '77, Barbara Kakiris '97, Gay Garth Legg '73, P'05, '09, Margaret Scavotto '02, Larae Bush Schraeder '97, Henry Steck '57, Scott Baker '94, and Alex Compton.
Visitors: President S. Georgia Nugent, Sarah Kahrl (Vice President for College Relations), Scott Layson (Director of the Career Development Office), Shawn Presley (Director of Public Affairs), and Patty Burns (Director of News Media)
Meeting was called to order by John Seaman at 9:30 a.m. Minutes from the last meeting were covered. Chapin motioned to approve the minutes,Busch Schrader seconded. Motion passed.
The newly-elected President of the Alumni Council is Todd Leavitt. Marshall Chapin is the new Vice President.
Schraeder moved to approve the appointment, Resnik Conn seconded. Motion passed.
Appointments for next year
Alex Compton reported that Barbara Kakiris '97 will be the regional president representative on council. The young alumni members were appointed to one year terms: Laura Paul and Alberto Solis. Only four votes separated the two candidates in the senior class election. Kakiris made a motion to appoint both of them. Scavotto seconded the motion. Motion passed.
New Alumni Council Executive Committee members: John Symons '61, Susan Berger '85, and Jeff Bridges '03. Note: Jeff will be filling in the one year remaining of Chapin's term. Resnik Conn motioned to accept the new members. Leavitt seconded. Motion passed.
Board of Trustees
Newly appointed to the Board of Trustees are alumni representatives Donald Fischman, MD '57, Deborah J. Reeder, MD '75; Columbus attorney Lawrence James was also appointed by the Board.
Barry F. Schwartz '70 is the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. William E. Bennett '68 is now an Emeritus Trustee.
Alumni Council Meeting Dates for 2011-2011:
September 23-24, 2011 (also Homecoming/Hall of Fame Weekend)
February 24-25, 2012 (Winter Weekend/Senior Dinner)
May 24-27, 2012 (Reunion Weekend/Memorial Day Weekend)
Other Important Volunteer Weekends:
Reunion Gift Planning - for 3s and 8s - September 9-10, 2011
Reunion Social Planning Weekend for 2s and 7s - September 16-17, l 2011
Post 50th Reunion - April 25-27, 2012
Alexandra Compton - Director of Regional Events
Updates of Regional Events
Alex is working with Admissions and the Kenyon Review to combine events when it makes sense for the College.
San Francisco - Two events were held in San Francisco - admissions yield event and an alumni event. Total attendance for the two evenings was over 150.
Seattle -85 people attended an alumni and yield event at the Golf Club at New Castle.
Portland -65 attendees at the event at the Kennedy School; record attendance for Portland.
Columbus - A private party and special screening of "happythankyoumoreplease," were held in Bexley - the 100 spots "sold out" within 4 days of announcing the event.
Learning in the Company of Friends - Hoping to revitalize some regional areas next year with gatherings in Minneapolis, Denver, North Carolina, Texas, Toledo and Chicago.
New Course Offered
Kenyon Film Events are being planned in LA and NYC to announce the major and create a network with alumni and students in the entertainment industry.
Kenyon Travel Program
The Kenyon Travel Program is being re-instituted. We're going to be sending an online survey to the alumni body to see where they would like to travel to. So far there are two trips being considered for 2012 --- Cuba and the Floriade in Holland.
S. Georgia Nugent - President
President Nugent gave an updates on recent happenings including:
- Shaka Smart '99 and his coaching success at VCU,
- Continuing evaluation of campus landscape by Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates
- Students had a good year. No crises.
- Putting keycard locks on the dorms went smoothly.
- Kenyon has five Fulbrights this year; program was cut in half nationally, so this number is very strong.
- College has been reaccredited for the next 10 years.
- Faculty is working in committees to shape Kenyon for the 21st century; priorities include a focus on writing; keeping up with fields of knowledge (i.e., neuroscience and environmental science); reallocation of vacant positions by the provost, etc.
- Next year the Kenyon Review will re-institute the Kenyon Review Fellows, young writers with an MFA teaching while they are in the process of writing their first novel.
Other topics covered by Nugent:
- In normal years Kenyon will receive 2,000 applications. This year we received 4,200. Steck replied that he personally knew of a student who applied to 27 colleges, with the intention of using what college would offer in financial aid packages as a leverage tool to bargain for better deals from another college. The Common Application leads to this kind of behavior.
Scott Baker '94 - Director of Alumni and Parent Programs
There will be a meeting of the Greek Alumni Leadership on Homecoming Weekend. Jack Buckley '66 will be chairing it. After this initial meeting, Student Affairs will take over working with this group.
Major Changes in the Post-50th Reunion Format
Based on alumni feedback and our ability to accommodate additional people, APP is considering moving to a cluster reunion model for the Post 50th Reunion. Many of our older alums whose class numbers are small had indicated they wish their reunions would include people from the classes near them. Many of these men also had atypical student careers due to military service and ultimately graduated with another class. This model will allow alums to visit with members of adjacent classes, it allows for more frequent reunions and will enable the college to accommodate more people
Leavitt motioned to accept the changes. Scavotto seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Sarah Kahrl - Vice President for College Relations
Kahrl began by letting the Alumni Council know that we have officially surpassed the $230 million goal for the "We are Kenyon" campaign, bringing it to a resoundingly successful conclusion. She then took some time to review post campaign goals with the group:
Post-Campaign Goals - Fiscal Years 2012-2016
1. Complete priorities of the "We Are Kenyon" campaign for financial aid, north campus housing and art endowment.
2. Continue to raise funds in areas of opportunity from "We are Kenyon" Campaign including the Philander Chase Corporation, The Kenyon Review , the Center for the Study of American Democracy and exhibition activities at the Graham Gund Gallery.
3. Provide process whereby new fundraising can be planned and executed
4. Build the Kenyon Fund and Kenyon Parents Fund
5. Build alumni involvement across the decades
In addition, Kahrl also announced that CASE has named our Alumni Bulletin the "Best College Magazine in the U.S."
Other Topics Covered
Metrics - Chapin asked what types of measurements are useful to measure to see if we have made a difference? Members of council shared thoughts on what should be measured and how it might be quantified.
Shawn Presley - Director of Public Affairs
Patty Burns - Director of New Media
Presentation on New Media Strategy by Presley, Burns, and Baker
Facebook , Twitter both actively used, also considering/using
- iTunes U
- Linked In
- Half of all students use mobile devices to access internet; potential growth area
- Prospective Student App
- Virtual Campus Tour
- Schedule Visit
- Application Status
- Current Student App
- K-Card Balance
- Career Services
- Alumni App
- Kenyon Connection
- Alumni Portal Services
- News Feeds
- Sports Scores
- Video Archive
- Earlier this month, the Board of Trustees stated that new media is a college priority
- By year's end we will launch a new alumni web portal as part of a 3-year online services upgrade, including:
- Revitalized KCN and Mentoring Community
- Advanced registration systems and services
- Advanced email publicity/marketing
- Integration with Kenyon Advance system which leads to new class agent tools, reporting, peer-to-peer capabilities, and personal giving history.
Scott Layson - Director of Career Development Office
Scott is asking for volunteers to sign up to do a 30-second segment on what you did with your degree. Results would go up on the website. He wants people to sign up for 15 minute time spots - in fact - bring a friend along with you!
Scott gave CDO updates on:
- Establishing a geographic presence on the site, something to engage parents and alums
- Create a human network hub that would involve students/faculty/alums/parents/friends of the college
- Wants to be adaptive and responsive; supportive, but not disruptive
- A new Associate Director will be starting next week - Allison Suflita. She is 26
- Internships - It is very easy to get an internship with the Philadelphia Center. They take in 12 students a semester, and there are roughly 50 employers within walking distance
- Scott sent out an email to students asking them where they'd like to intern. He received seven responses within a minute. Ended up with 87 internships.
- There are very competitive internships between Kenyon alums
- The Director of Press Advance at the White House is a Kenyon alumna and is interested in trying to help out Kenyon students.
- A Kenyon alumna in Los Angeles posted on the University of Santa Monica website that she was interested in taking one student in. She ended up taking two.
Senior Survey Results:
- 31% had jobs
- 31% had access to grad school
- 60% response rate
- Do you need assistance? 102 said yes
- CDC will run over the summer
Business Updates - Scott Baker and Council
Alumni of Color Collective:
Baker said that Kenyon enrolled 475 students for the next incoming class. Of that, 17% (82 students) are students of color. Most applications ever received was two years ago, with a high-water mark of 35 first generation students. This year 20% were offered places -vs- 16% last year.
Baker described the KEEP program at Kenyon ( Kenyon Educational Enrichment Program KEEP is a selective four year program that provides academic, intellectual, and social encouragement and support for its scholars. Twelve scholars from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds are selected from the incoming class to participate in this program. KEEP scholars represent a broad range of curricular and co-curricular interests and also possess strong academic and social leadership potential.
Martin Luther King Day: Ended up with a major issue. This year it takes place on a Monday - the first day back on campus. What about bringing it into the core curriculum?
Retiring Alumni Council Members:
Seaman recognized Garrett and Resnik Conn as retiring members and presented them with gifts of appreciation for their devoted service to the Council.
Todd Leavitt '73 - New President of the Alumni Council
- Extended a big thank-you to Baker and Compton for their fantastic job in taking over for Lisa Schott this past year. They had very big shoes to fill.
- Gave Council members homework assignments for over the summer. They will be summarized in the "Follow-Up Needed" section at the end of this report.
- Food for thought: Attendance at this meeting of the Alumni Council is the smallest in quite a while. How do we get this level of productivity with a larger group in attendance?
Chapin motioned to adjourn the meeting. Scavotto seconded. Motion passed. Meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
Follow Up Needed:
- Two (2) nominations for Alumni Council for the 2012-2013 Academic Year. No concerns necessarily about "long-term Alumni service"- it's sufficient if your nominee is someone who possesses the skills and loyalty to Kenyon to make a difference. (everyone)
- Use the "Class Notes" section in the Alumni Bulletin to advise of your role on the Alumni Council (everyone)
- Invite the Alumni Trustees to attend our meetings (Scott and Todd)
- Strategic Plan for Activation of Regional Associations (Margaret)
- Strategic Plan for use of social networking as part of communication and outreach (Joe)
- Outline of suggested metrics for "best practices" for Council initiatives (Marshall & Larae)
- Strategic Plan for tackling logistics of Intern/Extern program in locations away from Gambier (Gay)
- Strategic Plan for assistance to Alumni "in transition" (Henry)
The Strategic Plans need only be a page or two of bullet points that highlight the dimensions of the issue presented and suggest possible actions that can be taken to address the current need. Of course, please feel free to give me (Todd) a call if you want to bounce around ideas /brainstorm. It will be REALLY helpful if you can get the material to Scott at leastthree weeks prior to the September meeting (September 23-24) so it can be shared with the Executive Committee in anticipation of discussion at the meeting itself.