This is a critical time in the life of the Smith School, and active engagement by the alumni community is more important than ever. A leadership transition of the Smith Alumni Chapter Board (ACB) took place June 30 while the board was operating progressively and smoothly. As the incoming and outgoing chairs, we would like to share with the alumni community the progress made over the last three years and our future plans as a board.
Over the last several years, the ACB has worked to create a more distinct positive impact on the ranks of our alumni. We have worked hard to change the conversation from “What do we need from our alumni?” to “What life-long alumni interactions can we provide to our fellow Smith community members?”
As a result, we’ve streamlined the number of events to which alumni are asked to attend by establishing two Signature Events that celebrate the Smith School and create a buzz to attract diverse alumni. For two years running, our Holiday Gala in December has drawn more 600 attendees, and our family friendly summer event attracts between 200 and 700 participants.
In addition to our signature events, we have made progress in other critical ways. We now have a Smith School app (go to your Google Play Store or iTunes store and search for UMD Smith School) to help find classmates, network with other alumni through LinkedIn integration, and keep current with what’s happening at Smith.
Furthermore, we have networking events in many different cities for the benefit of alumni and students alike, and we provide opportunities for alumni to speak to students whether in one-on-one mentoring sessions or through group interactions. Lastly, we host alumni-focused admissions seminars for those with high school children considering college.
As we look into the future, we have more on our agenda, including: Conducting an all-alumni survey to help identify more ways to interact meaningfully; getting strong participation numbers in our MBA ranking questionnaires; creating opportunities to keep alumni abroad connected; providing more life-long learning programs for alumni to stay current on hot business topics; and showing thanks to our alumni volunteers and donors for their important involvement at Smith.
As we take this moment to look back and gaze ahead, we are proud of what we have accomplished and where we are going. We hope to see you at one of our many alumni events and encourage you to stay connected to Smith.
Brian Meenaghan ’05
Outgoing Chair, Alumni Chapter Board
CJ Grant, MBA ’05
Incoming Chair, Alumni Chapter Board