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Presidents' Club Updates

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A message from Rachel Cohen ’17, co-President of the PCSC

By Contributing Writer on April 4, 2016

As co-President of the Presidents’ Club Student Committee (PCSC), it has been such a privilege to advocate on behalf of the school that we all love. Our goal has been to educate the student body on what it means to give to Colgate and what it takes to help the institution run.

Thus far, we have hosted a midterm study break, and during the week of April 4th we will be hosting a week-long Give for ‘Gate campaign, during which we will continue our mission to educate and encourage students to give back to the school. Without the generosity and philanthropic efforts of alumni, Colgate would not be the thriving institution that it is. And with the student rate of $13 for Presidents’ Club membership, we are disseminating this message across campus.

So again, thank you to the alumni for all that you do; if the students can match even half of your passion, then we will have done our job.

Undergraduate students form the Presidents’ Club Student Committee

By Contributing Writer on April 4, 2016
Amy DiSibio '86 with student Presidents' Club members

Amy DiSibio ’86 with student members of the Presidents’ Club.

Since last semester, seven student leaders have been promoting the Presidents’ Club among undergraduate students and have so far encouraged more than 600 students to contribute $13.00 each in order to become members.

In early February, the Presidents’ Club student leadership group merged its efforts with the Giving Circle, Colgate’s undergraduate philanthropy council focused on educating their peers on the importance of giving back to Colgate. Led by Annual Giving Coordinator in Advancement Jessica Hootz ’13, the two groups rebranded as the Presidents’ Club Student Committee (PCSC).

Following the model of the President Club Membership Committee, the students of PCSC have divided themselves into three main sub-committees: Marketing, Education & Fundraising, and Event Planning, each of which is chaired by two co-presidents for one year. The PCSC is currently focused on preparing for its “Give for the ‘Gate” fundraising campaign during the week of April 4, culminating with Entrepreneur Weekend and Alumni Council Weekend at Colgate. Members of the event planning committee are also organizing a networking reception with Presidents’ Club alumni returning to campus for the weekend.

Case studies in leadership

By Contributing Writer on April 4, 2016

Poster for Case Studies in LeadershipIn early February, Senior Vice President for External Relations, Advancement & Initiatives Murray Decock ’80 launched his “Case Studies in Leadership Series” through the Robert A. Fox ’59 Management and Leadership Skills Program. The Case Studies in Leadership is a semester-long series of classes aimed at exposing 30 sophomores and juniors to aspects and elements of leadership of which they need to be aware in order to lead change, both on campus and in their professional experiences post-graduation. Decock facilitates the classes, eight of which include discussions led by guest lecturers from leaders in a variety of fields. Most of the lecturers are Colgate alumni: CEO of 21st Century Fox Chase Carey ’76, Founder and CEO of Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc. Maggie Dunne ’13; CEO of TriEagle Energy Michael Fallquist ’98; Senior Staff Attorney for Office of General Counsel in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Stephen Redmon ’80; Director of Product Innovation and Original Content Angela Morgenstern ’97; CEO and Founder of WayUp Liz Wessel: Former CEO of New York Stock Exchange Duncan Niederauer ’81; and Founder of The TriBeca Film Festival Craig Hatkoff ’76.

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The Colgate Fund

By Contributing Writer on December 4, 2015
The Colgate Fund

Leadership gifts to the Colgate Fund impact all areas of campus.

Did you know? The Colgate Fund, previously called the unrestricted annual fund, is a crucial economic resource that supports the university’s most urgent needs and long-term strategic plans. The Colgate Fund augments income from the university’s endowment and provides Colgate with the flexibility to respond in real time to opportunities that arise during the course of the academic year.

Out of the total raised for the Colgate Fund each year, 25 percent supports financial aid and 50 percent supports academic programs. In Fiscal Year 2015, alumni, parents, students, and friends of the university contributed $6 million toward the Colgate Fund.

Undergraduates join Presidents’ Club

By Contributing Writer on December 4, 2015
Undergraduates join Presidents’ Club

The field hockey team, all Presidents’ Club members, with Presidents’ Club Chair Amy DiSibio ’86 P’18.

Under the guidance of Jennifer Stone, director of annual giving, seven student leaders are spearheading a new Presidents’ Club initiative to increase leadership-level giving and commitment to Colgate among undergraduates.

Launched in October 2015, this initiative enables students to join the Presidents’ Club for just $13 a year — a contribution that increases annually after graduation — and immediately begin to impact the campus in a specific area of their choosing, such as athletics, student organizations, academic departments, or the Colgate Fund. By embracing the sense of lifelong connectedness to the Colgate community, student members of the Presidents’ Club seek to establish and sustain a tradition of leadership by example in order to enhance the collegiate experience for both current undergraduates and future generations of students. Read more

Living the Liberal Arts

By Contributing Writer on December 4, 2015

Founding members of the Ciccone Commons celebrate the naming of Colgate’s first residential commons.

We hope that you’ve seen Vice President and Dean of the College Suzy Nelson’s recent Huffington Post article, “On Living the Liberal Arts.” Colgate’s Living the Liberal Arts initiative is well underway with several on-campus changes aimed at promoting a learning environment of inclusivity and diversity, beginning with the launch of the university’s first residential commons.

Led by University Chaplain Mark Shiner and Professor of Psychology Rebecca Shiner, Ciccone Commons opened this fall in Curtis and Drake residence halls, with an annex at 100 Broad Street. About 200 members of the Class of 2019 and 200 members of the Class of 2018 live in Curtis and Drake, and around 40 sophomores, juniors, and seniors live in the annex.

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Alumni spotlight: Jarrett Turner ’04

By Contributing Writer on December 4, 2015
Jarrett Turner ’04

Jarrett Turner ’04

As reported in spring 2015 edition of the Colgate Scene, Jarrett Turner ’04 founded a private equity firm, Soundcore Capital Partners, in April 2015. A deep connection to Colgate makes this new firm special. All three of Soundcore’s initial employees are linked to the university: Managing Partner Jarrett Turner is an alumnus from the Class of 2004, General Counsel Erik Emmett is the son of Steven Emmett ’70, and Associate John Gabler is from the Class of 2014.

Despite attending Colgate ten years apart, Turner and Gabler have shared experiences that they feel have prepared them to succeed in their new roles. They believe Colgate’s academics created a foundation for critical thinking, and they attribute some of the unique characteristics of Colgate to the successful creation and continued development of the firm.

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Wanted: Internships for Colgate students

By Contributing Writer on December 4, 2015
Internships for Colgate students

Thanks to the generosity of Presidents’ Club members, Colgate students gain experience through summer internships.

As the end of the fall semester approaches, many Colgate students are in the midst of the exciting, yet daunting, job and internship search process. Summer internship experiences are increasingly crucial for today’s undergraduate students as they prepare for life post-graduation and the rigors of the competitive job market. Internships provide invaluable opportunities for career exploration and skill development outside of the classroom and prepare students to translate their liberal arts education to the professional world.

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Colgate Presidents’ Club and Common Good Professional Network announce Impact Award recipient

By Contributing Writer on March 16, 2015
Greg Casagrande celebrates Colgate Day with inspiring women micro-entrepreneurs on Guadalcanal.

Greg Casagrande ’85 celebrates the Colgate Day of Impact with inspiring women micro-entrepreneurs on Guadalcanal.

As part of the Colgate Day of Impact, the Presidents’ Club and the Common Good Network are pleased to present the first-ever Colgate Impact Award to Greg Casagrande ’85. The Colgate Impact award recognizes a member of the Colgate community who has shown exemplary leadership in working toward the Common Good.

Greg is the Founder of SPBD Microfinance Network, the leading microfinance institution in the South Pacific. Through SPBD, Greg has provided over $60million in micro-enterprise financing plus small business training to over 40,000 poor but aspiring women micro-entrepreneurs in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Solomons Islands. Greg is also the founder of MicroDreams, a microfinance acceleration fund and Transformative Ventures LLC, a Microfinance advisory company.

“I am especially proud that we have found a way to work directly with poor but aspiring women to provide them with meaningful economic opportunity so that they can grab onto a rung of the economic ladder and begin to pull themselves and their families permanently out of poverty.   I’m equally proud that we have also developed a model that enables us to replicate and scale these efforts so that we can provide the proverbial “hand-up” and make a positive impact for tens of thousands of families,” Greg said.

Greg has served as a director on several microfinance-industry boards including: the International Association of Microfinance Investors (of NY), Microfinance Pasifika (of Fiji), and Planet Finance (of Paris). He also serves as a Board member for Plebys (of Irvine, CA) a “Base of the Pyramid” investment fund and Water Health International (of NY), an affordable clean drinking water solution marketed in India and West Africa.

Greg was named “Person of the Year” in the Pacific Island nation of Samoa for his work in empowering poor families in that country, was honored to be a United Nations Global Advisor for Microfinance and was awarded the “Singapore Global Social Entrepreneur” Prize.

“When I first learned about the Impact Award, I immediately thought of Greg,” said Amy Everett DiSibio ’86 P’18, Vice Chair of the Presidents’ Club. “Greg has made a global impact through his work and has inspired so many people to pursue a life of service. He gives back generously, not only to Colgate, but throughout the world and he exemplifies both leadership and impact, which are key values of the Colgate Presidents’ Club.”

Greg also promotes hi-tech entrepreneurship and was a founding director of the Ice Angels, Australasia’s largest angel investor group and serves as Chairman/Director of three New Zealand software firms: Biomatters Ltd, Cumulo9 Ltd and English-To-Go Ltd.

Greg’s experience at Colgate inspired him to pursue a life of service. Greg worked with homeless men in DC during his Freshman January term, worked as an aide to a member of the British Parliament in London in his Junior year and remembers fondly engaging in deep philosophical conversation with Professor Hunt Terrell in an International Ethics course in his Senior year.

Colgate gave me the confidence to think for myself and to have the courage to follow my own path and definition of success.  For that and for the enduring lifelong friendships that I made at Colgate, I am very grateful.”

Greg will receive his award at a future on-campus event.

Writing a Letter to the Editor

By Contributing Writer on March 12, 2015

This was written by Zoe Smith ’17, a consultant in Colgate’s Writing and Speaking Center as advice for those interested in writing a letter to the editor as part of the Day of Impact initiative.

Writing a letter to a newspaper editor is a great way to raise awareness about an issue, advocate for a cause, or simply publicly express your opinion about an important person, program, event, or idea. Writing a letter is a great first step towards promoting change within a community. If you’ve always wanted to do so but never know where to start, look no further. Here is a list of the fundamental aspects that make a successful letter to an editor.

  1.  Know your audience – Think about your audience as the person you are specifically addressing in the letter. Yes, your letter will be read by a broader audience if published, but these public readers will judge your letter based on how appropriately it addresses the editor, and how successfully it negotiates the issue. So focus on empathizing with the editor and appealing to their values.
  2.  Grab the reader’s attention – Just as with any introduction to a piece of writing, your letter’s opening is extremely important. It should grab the reader’s attention and introduce the topic of your letter in a way that makes them want to read more.
  3.  Establish your argument – State your argument clearly, quickly, and simply. Your argument should be more than an observation; it should consist of a specific claim you’re making about a relevant issue.
  4.  Explain its importance – Although the purpose of your letter may seem obvious to you, the general public may not hold the same understanding or awareness of your concern. Explicitly state the importance and magnitude of your argument. Use language that is clear, straightforward and easy to understand.
  5.  Discuss your desired outcome – State your opinion regarding what should be done about the issue. In order for your letter to be most powerful, propose solutions rather than simply “venting.” Suggest realistic steps that can be taken by whomever you are addressing.
  6.  Be concise – Stay focused and to-the-point. In general, shorter letters have a better chance of being published. Shorter letters are also more comprehendible to the reader because they present their argument in a clear and succinct manner.

Remember these tips and you are bound to write a powerful letter! Other final details include the following:

Addressing the letter: “Dear Editor” or “To the Editor of The New York Times,” for example,is sufficient. If you specifically know the editor’s name, use it–this may increase the chances of your letter being read.

Signing the letter: There is no need to write “Sincerely” or “Yours truly” at the conclusion of your letter; simply enter two spaces at the end of the letter and sign your name and city or address.

Sending the letter: Send your letter electronically, either in an email to the editor or submitted through a designated online forum on the publication’s website. Avoid sending your letter through the mail as it will then have to be typed on the computer before it can be published.

With these simple tips in mind there is no doubt your letter will be published. So next time you feel strongly about an issue in a publication, sit down, grab this guide, and start writing.