Brooks Foehl ’88 of the alumni office kindly provides this information of the meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) on the Society of Alumni (SoA) starting today.

We’re looking forward to a great meeting in Portland, OR. We’ll kick things off with a reception and dinner with the Portland Regional Association on Thursday the 25th- EC members will attend and Morty will be the featured speaker as is the norm.

The Executive Committee of the Society will meet all day Friday and half of Saturday. Some of the topics on the agenda include: a conversation with Morty (we’ll actually have a discussion of his book College Access: Opportunity or Privilege co-authored with Mike McPherson), on-line communication strategies (our office is close to rolling out some new web tools- stay tuned), an update on the progress of The Williams Campaign, as well as reports from sub-committees working on volunteerism and issues of inclusion. Anyone who would like to pass along thoughts or suggestions for the Executive Committee can do so via alumni.relations _at_


1) Thanks to the alumni office for being open with these details. In the past, I have had trouble making public this sort of information. The more transparent the SoA is in dealings with alumni, the more successful it will be.

2) I am a candidate for EC membership. Since I haven’t heard anything yet, I probably didn’t get this year. Maybe next year! As with my rejection as a JA candidate 20 years ago, I don’t really mind this since the Ephs who are selected are all excellent choices. Who am I to say that I would do a better job than high quality people like, say, Kevin Hinton ’89 or Jordan Hampton ’87? I do think that the SoA would be better off making Ephs like me part of the process, but that will come in time. In any event, former EphBlog author Sharifa Wright ’03 is on the committee, so our voice will be heard.

3) I hope that the EC knows about our seminar, focussed on the same book.

4) I am deeply suspicious of these new “on-line communication strategies.” Although I recognize that the folks at the alumni office are good-hearted and dedicated, they seem not to have come to grips with some central realities of the internet. Points to keep in mind:

a) The people from Harris Connect are eager to cash your checks. Don’t write any. Harris doesn’t know what it is doing.

b) No one wants to remember another login and password. One reason why many (every?) previous attempt by the College to bring alumni together has failed is that the College is too inward focussed, too protective, too private. Now, I realize that certain information (e.g., tools for class agents, the alumni directory) must remain password protected. Fine. But everything else should be open, accessible to all. EphBlog has more alumni readers than anything that the SoA has done on-line (with the probable exception of Eph Notes) because we recognize that Ephs are busy people. You will not get wide participation if you make too many (any?) demands.

More later.

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