From the Alumni Association: An Ongoing Conversation

David ReifOn behalf of the Alumni Association, I am delighted to welcome you to this new column and the redesigned Lafayette Magazine. Future letters will keep you up to date on activities on campus and opportunities available to alumni around the country.

With the Alumni Summer College, the installation of Alison Byerly as Lafayette’s new president, and the recent successful Homecoming, there is plenty to write about. However, this month, I would like to focus on the alumni survey.

Earlier this year, Lafayette surveyed the 18,000 alumni for whom we have email addresses. To assure that the results were accurate, the College retained a consultant who has undertaken this work on behalf of institutions nationwide. Our goal was to understand better how graduates feel about their experiences both as students and alumni, their view of the College today, and ways in which the Association can better serve you. Michael Weisburger ’82 represented the Alumni Council on the committee; we thank him for investing extensive time and effort.

We were gratified by your response. Nearly 1,900 of you participated, a figure that our consultants tell us is higher than normal. Of that group, 93 percent rated both their decision to attend Lafayette and their experiences here as “excellent” or “good.”

Two related conclusions were particularly interesting to me. First, the most important aspect of Lafayette for alumni was the value of their degree, not just in terms of the income it represents, but also the perception of the College in their community. Second, respondents viewed service as the College’s “ambassadors” as their major contribution. What we also learned, though, is that you would like additional help in that communications role. This column and the redesigned magazine are just part of our efforts to give you more accessible information about Lafayette today.

Communication is a two-way street, so please drop me a note with any suggestions or comments. You can find me in the Official Lafayette Alumni group on LinkedIn. And, if possible, join President Byerly at one of the gatherings where she is meeting alumni around the country.

David Reif ’68