By Bud Richey
From the Alumni Relations Office
You will receive this issue of Rhodes at a point in time when we have begun a new calendar year and crossed the midpoint of the 2006-07 academic year, in which the institutional focus is on student engagement.
If discussions that I had in November with one of our faculty members pan out, in the spring semester of this year we will have between 20 and 40 alumni involved in two academic courses in which they receive students’ reflections on readings and are asked to comment on the work of the students. It is expected that the bulk of the contact will be through electronic mail. What a wonderful opportunity it presents not just for the students to come to know alumni, but for alumni to have a sense of knowing what and how students at Rhodes are learning! It is an experiment, but we are excited about the possibilities it holds for benefiting the student and alumni members of the Rhodes community.
In my own engagement with students, I have been privileged to work with two senior women taking a senior seminar class in the Psychology Department. Emily Deichmann ’07 and Rebecca Smith ’07 have the assignment of assessing the effectiveness of the institution in achieving the Rhodes Vision. The students are focusing on the alumni community. While the Rhodes Vision was adopted in 2003, my sense is that the statement will have meaning for Rhodes alumni from the most recent classes to those who attended Southwestern in the 1930s.
The students face a challenge. It is a big task. However, as one who had responsibility for assessment work in a previous appointment, it appears that the students are doing fine work and are absolutely on the right track. Rebecca and Emily have developed a survey that attempts to study the experiences alumni had as students and see what connections, if any, exist in your values and behaviors as an alumnus/a. The plan for gathering data relies heavily upon alumni participation. Alumni with e-mail addresses that are known to us will receive a survey attached to an e-mail message and be asked to complete and submit the electronic instrument. Other alumni will receive their surveys through the mail.
In the cycle of programming that guides the work of the Alumni Relations Office, Homecoming/Reunion Weekend is never too far away. As I write, we are less than a month removed from a wonderful Homecoming weekend in which we had fine numbers of alumni returning for class reunions. When you receive this, our staff will be soliciting nominations in behalf of the Alumni Association and the Black Student Association for alumni to be recognized at Homecoming ’07. Please see the related box on this page and nominate worthy members of the Rhodes family.
As always, know that our office stands ready to serve you. At the same time, please know that we won’t be bashful about asking you to help where you can in supporting our students and Rhodes in our ongoing quest for excellence.
- Best regards,
Associate Vice President and Director of Alumni Relations From the Alumni Relations Office
Alumni News Nominations RequestedNominations are requested for the following awards to be presented at Homecoming Oct. 19-20, 2007:
- Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
- Young Alumnus/a of the Year
- Athletic Hall of Fame
- BSA Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
Please send your nominations by Monday, March 12
Use the electronic form at http://www.rhodes.edu/2951.asp
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail to:
Alumni Relations Office
2000 North Parkway
Memphis, TN 38112