Alumni association board president Chris Wiesehan ’05 shared his vision for the year with the rest of the board members by suggesting that “Three D’s” should guide association activity.
He said that paying close attention to alumni-related data in decision making, addressing the increasing diversity of the current Calvin student body and alumni association, and strategically using digital means of delivering alumni messages were important goals for all board members and working groups to consider.
The 21-member alumni association board met in early October on campus for the first of three annual meetings.
At each meeting, the board meets in plenary sessions, meets with Calvin students and staff and breaks up into a number of working groups to address specific issues.
This year’s working groups are admissions, careers, alumni engagement, alumni revenue, faculty engagement, faith and service, and intercultural campus life.
Every working group is facilitated by a board member, and many have Calvin staff as advisory participants.
The board leadership this year is Wiesehan, a financial analyst from Chicago; Scott Vandenberg ’94, an on-line school principal from Lynden, Wash.; and Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom ’93, an administrator for a national children’s non-profit from Chicago.
New board members welcomed at this meeting were Bruce Buursma ’73, a communications professional from Grand Haven, Mich.; Jonathan Hirte ’08, a congressional aide from Washington, D.C.; Oludare Odumosu ’05, a pharmaceutical executive from Philadelphia; Laura Ostrander-Caprara ’92, a social media consultant from East Grand Rapids, Mich.; Jeff Pyun ’92, an Army chaplain from Evans, Ga.; Cheryl Hubers Ten Brink ’81, a photographer from Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Lisa Kuyers Zylstra ’80, a school administrator from Lombard, Ill.
Highlights of this board meeting were a dialogue with President Le Roy; a special session led by Calvin faculty members who are working to renew Plaster Creek, an urban watershed in the area; a current student panel, in which board members had the chance to hear the joys and concerns on campus; and participation in the career development office’s business careers networking reception.
The board’s faith and service working group intends to promote a partnership with Calvin’s service-learning office and offer a chance for alumni to serve with students during Calvin’s spring break (March 13-22, 2015) to assist in flood-damaged Colorado.
At the final roundtable of the board meeting, many board members referred to the impressive and insightful comments from students and vowed to assist them in whatever ways were effective.