During our first ten years of service, we established an Alumni Outreach website as a means to keep alumni connected with the College. We were busy building programs and securing resources for the Foundation so that the current students and faculty would benefit from our support. Since my arrival as CEO, I have had a number of people ask me “how do I join the foundation?” Our by-laws and mission areas specified that the Foundation was established to “maintain contact with alumni” but our by-laws provided for constituent recognition and not a formal alumni association membership. Because of that, we were often at a loss of what to tell folks other than that they could make a donation. So, we decided that in 2017 and beyond, we would put more emphasis into our alumni mission area and we have regenerated the Alumni Association membership as a Foundation program. First, let me tell you a bit of the history of the Alumni Association and then what the Foundation is doing moving forward with our new vision and renewed emphasis on connecting alums to their alma mater.
CGSC established a loosely organized Alumni Association in the mid-90’s. The idea was to give alumni the opportunity to stay informed and in touch through the association but the program never really took hold. When I was the Dean of Academics at the College from 1998 to 2000, I visited the association office/gift shop often. Wonderful volunteers dedicated to the college and our graduates ran the association, but there was only so much that could be done and the association never really took hold.
In 2005, then Lt. Gen. Petraeus asked retired Lt. Gen. Arter to consider starting a foundation to support the College in the mission to educate leaders of character and competence for service to the nation. The CGSC Foundation, Inc. stood up in December 2005 with six mission areas that delineate the focus for our support. The sixth mission area is: Maintain contact with alumni. In other words, the Foundation took on the mission of the Alumni Association in our charter of support to the College. As noted, we established the Alumni Outreach website to support the mission but beyond that, we haven’t done what I would consider to be an adequate job of connecting alumni to the college.
In February 2017, our Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Alumni Association membership as a program of the Foundation. We hope to attract members in order for them to stay involved with the college and as a means to reach out and connect with their classmates. I know that during my time after graduation, I stayed in contact with a number of classmates but I wish I could have had a means to stay better connected. We believe that our website and program will allow all graduates, past and future to stay connected to the college. I felt that CGSC was a watershed event in my life, giving me the tools I needed to serve at ever higher levels of responsibility in the Army. I maintained contact with the college by serving out my final tour on active duty as the director of the Department of Army Tactics and the Dean of Academics in order to give back to an institution that had such a profound impact on my life. I stay connected still today and hope that other graduates who feel the same way will want to be members of the Association.
The Alumni Association program will allow graduates and friends to join the association to stay connected and to support the future of the Foundation as we support the College. Member dues will be used as a base of support for the alumni mission including the website and our Foundation News magazine. Our benefits to the Association members will include subscription to the magazine and information updates, which we hope will keep interest in the College high.
We hope that you will consider becoming an Alumni Association member and keep your membership current in the years to come. You can join today by following this link to fill out the information and pay your tax deductible $25 initial membership fee. We will work hard to keep you informed and connected so that you can truly enjoy the benefits of the best year of your life. Won’t you join us?