DEAR FELLOW ALUMNI:
I feel very honored to step into the position of chair of your Alumni Association Board of Directors. My predecessor, David Feldman,W’82, L’85, created an impressive legacy, establishing bonds between students and alumni as well as between geographic and affinity clubs and the school through dynamic programming. In the next two years I hope to build upon his achievements by continuing to strengthen the Wharton brand worldwide. In that process I welcome your input, suggestions and engagement. It is only through alumni commitment and support that the Wharton network will grow.
Occasionally I am asked how I became involved in this board. My path has been a typical one. As a graduate of Penn’s College for Women (CW’74) as well as Wharton (WG’76), I served on both the Penn and Wharton club steering committees in Dallas over a 20-year period. Ultimately I assumed the presidency of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Wharton Club in the mid 1990s. Shortly thereafter I was elected to the alumni association board, on which I have chaired committees responsible for commu-nications, marketing and career management issues. Two years ago I became the board president. My professional background is not that of a typical Wharton graduate. Most of my career has been focused on marketing and media relations primarily in the nonprofit sector. I am also a practicing artist and illustrator. Despite my non-traditional career path, the Wharton brand has always provided me with an added level of credibility and professional stature. For this I will always be grateful and committed to maintaining and extending that brand.
Over the last two years our board has paid special attention to creating systems and templates that can be duplicated throughout the Wharton network. Tama Smith, WG’90, our board’s incoming president, has reinvigorated the Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC), an annual forum for club presidents dur-ing which best practices from around the globe are shared. Other members have researched the ele-ments essential to establish-ing the strongest alumni ties. Having identified reunions as key to building these ties, board member Craig Enenstein, WG’95, took on his own 10-year reunion and recruited 10 times the average number of classmates to participate in an outstanding weekend long celebration. His plan-ning process will serve as a guide to all future reunions. Other members have forged new bonds between alumni and students via alumni advisory club boards, led student/alumni colloquia and created an editorial calendar for the alumni pages in this magazine. In the next two years we will be building on these and other initiatives with a commitment to identifying and employing the best practices possible to expand our reach.
We also plan to add an additional committee dedicated to examining and researching technology issues and opportunities. Ultimately, however, our efforts are only successful with your involvement. If you are interested in getting involved and would like to find out more about volunteer opportunities, please contact the alumni office at <alumni.affairs@whart on.upenn.edu> or go to <www.wharton.upenn. edu/alumni> where you can sign into the alumni community, access career services or look up contacts for the Wharton club nearest you, among many other things. And please feel free to e-mail me directly with questions, concerns or suggestions.
Vige Barrie, CW’74, WG’76
Chairman, Wharton Alumni Association