CLAE Alumni Council sets exciting plan for college and alumni
Letter from President Tom Van Esley:
CLAE Alumni Council
Robert A Bruttell ’01
Theresa D. Chatman ’98
Jamie L. Dylenski ’98
Elizabeth Foley-Dunstone ’88, ’91
Bessie L. Harris ’84, ’98
Elaine M. Jirkans ’94, Vice President
Teresa A McGovern ’01
Susanne O. McMillan ’58
Renee Naud ’92, ’97
Edward J. Nussel ’53
Robert F. Rogowski ’77, ’79
Robert A. Sadler ’88
Rene R. Saenez ’75, Secretary
Pamela Young Setla ’96
John E. Smyntek ’72
Walter L. Sobota ‘68, ’73
Carolynne Kanir Stabnick ’67
Thomas M. Van Esley ’75, President
Sheila L Vanfield ’00
Greetings from your president! No, this is not George Bush. And, no—for those of you who are old enough to remember—you have not been drafted into military service.
This is Tom Van Esley ’75, your College of Liberal Arts and Education (CLAE) Alumni Council president, updating you on the recent activities of your Alumni Council.
Nineteen CLAE alumni comprise the council. We have been dedicating our time and effort to support activities pertinent to our current student body, department chairs and dean. I recently met with the department chairs to offer the council’s assistance. We proposed to support their programs in whatever way possible. Our offer was not only to assist individually or as a group, but to serve as a conduit between alumni and CLAE departments.
As you can imagine, this is not a simple task. We, the alumni of this College, make up a very diverse group. We have been educated in a wide variety of disciplines and have taken our various tools into a spectrum of careers. The very name of this College newsletter, “Tapestry,” was recommended by the council to emphasize that very point.
Although the task of “herding in” the variety of talent and experiences may not be easy…the situation itself does present a unique opportunity to offer a wealth of experience, opinions, and resources to the students, chairs and dean.
When John Staudenmaier, S.J., concluded his tenure as interim dean, we were fortunate to welcome new Dean Charles Marske. And Dean Marske has been right in step with our efforts as we continue to make progress under his direction and support.
Space precludes me from delineating every effort we have made since Dean Marske arrived on campus, but let me cite some of our successes:
- We have established a much stronger connection with the CLAE department chairs. Specifically, at each Alumni Council meeting during the 2004-05, we have had one of the chairs update us on the activities of his/her department. We not only hear of their progress, but are able to assess our ability to assist their programs.
- The council, in conjunction with Alumni Relations, surveyed CLAE alumni last fall to learn of their interests in assisting our efforts. From the survey, we have been able to identify a number of alumni who are ready to join our efforts, whether it’s attending a CLAE-sponsored activity such as Homecoming, joining the council itself, supporting a council sub-committee activity, or speaking to a class of students about a topic that may be related to their course studies.
- The CLAE council, along with family and friends, attended and supported The Theatre Company’s recent performance of “Godspell,” with more than 300 in attendance. Alumni and members of the Theatre Company staff also attended a wine and cheese “afterglow,” sponsored by council secretary Rene Saenz ’75, and his company, Two Men and a Truck.
- During 2004-05, we have added three new members to the council. We also elected a new vice president, Elaine Jirkans ’94, and secretary, Rene Saenz.
Our goals for the upcoming year (where much work has already taken place) includes the following:
- Involving alumni in the Strategic Planning Process for CLAE.
- Planning an Alumni Week during Homecoming activities in 2006. A Speaker’s Series is being planned, in which alumni will address students in class sessions and/or participate in a panel discussion on campus.
- Further developing the Subcommittee on Programs activities. Considerations
- Sponsoring a Welcome Back reception in fall 2005.
- Working with students on service projects, such as Hunger Week and the Shelter and Home Initiative.
- Supporting the Ethics Bowl in February 2006.
As you can see, we are exploring an array of opportunities to support UDM, the CLAE staff, and our dean. I am proud to say that we are making an impact. The ideas and efforts of our council are coming to fruition. We pride ourselves on doing things that are making a positive contribution to the University and the Detroit area. All this, and we have fun at the same time. Come join us in helping make UDM the place you’ve only imagined.
Tom Van Esley
President, CLAE Alumni Council