by Jenny Ritter Kelly ’89, current Club and Association Alumni Peer Advisor
Have you attended CALC?
Walking into the Sheraton Boston Hotel lobby, I immediately saw a big Cornell banner and the friendly desk clerks were all wearing Cornell polo shirts. I headed to the CALC registration desk and picked up my name badge. In the registration lobby, there was a huge counter filled with Cornell pens, CALC schedules, brochures, and affinity tags for the name badges, such as what state you live in, Greek affiliation, and your leadership role(s). There are also tables with snacks and coffee/tea stations, a step and repeat, a bank of computers to allow alums to vote for alumni trustees and a networking area. This is the hub of CALC.
On Friday afternoon, the opening session was with Ryan Lombardi, Vice President, Student & Campus Life. The highlight was a student panel where six students discussed their life on the hill. Next, depending on your leadership role, you could attend your class meeting or various break out sessions. The evening concluded with a networking reception, a fraternity and sorority reception and for class officers, the Cornell Association of Class Officers Dinner. The students on the panel from earlier in the day were at the networking reception and were engrossed in discussions with alums.
Saturday started early with breakfast in the Grand Ballroom. Associate Vice President of Alumni Affairs Michelle Vaeth ’98 and Cornell Alumni Advisory Board Chair Kelly Brown ’88, MBA ’92 presented the draft of the Alumni Affairs 5 Year Strategic Plan. We broke into small groups for discussion of the plan. It was a great opportunity to bond with other alums and we all left our sessions energized that Cornell was willing to hear our voices and happy we made new friends.
Saturday afternoon included a lunch with Rakesh Khurana ’89, Dean of Harvard College, professor of sociology and organizational behavior at Harvard University, and Faculty Dean of Cabot House. He shared his personal journey managing change throughout his career and while implementing a strategic plan. The seating at lunch differs every year – this year was by your college.
We had a choice of sessions in the afternoon, including Volunteer Core Competencies, Engaging Generations of Alumni Through Activity and Social Media, Greek Life Today, and Class Officers Make a Difference. No matter your volunteer interest, CALC has something for everyone. In our session, Engaging Generations of Alumni, we had a full room of club leaders and discussed best practices for social media and events. Who knew Curling was the most popular club event? Or that the Cornell Club of Rochester celebrates Founder’s Day on Ezra Cornell’s birthday and Slope Day on the same day as the undergrads.
The day ended with a Volunteer Expo, Celebration reception, and Young Alumni Reception. Some class officers in reunion years stayed through Sunday to work on reunion planning. Other alumni stayed over until Sunday and enjoyed the great restaurants in Boston.
So why attend CALC? With over 600 alumni and 150 students attending, it’s a great way to network, meet high-level Cornell University administrators, and learn more about all facets of Cornell that can help you in your leadership role. You will leave exhausted, rejuvenated, and well-prepared for your volunteer role.
To read more about the schedule from CALC 2019, please visit https://alumni.cornell.edu/volunteer/leadership/calc/calc19schedule/