Our annual summer SCS/ECE alumni events continue to be a favorite for our graduates and their families. This summer we held gatherings at Boston’s Museum of Science, San Francisco’s Computer History Museum, the Washington, D.C. offices of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, and at sea, on a boat cruising Seattle’s Puget Sound.
In early October, hundreds of alumni, parents and students joined us during Cèilidh Weekend for the kick-off celebration of SCS25—the 25th anniversary of the founding of the School of Computer Science. Talks and panel sessions examined the current state and future of computer science as well as robotics. Speakers included Serkan Piantino (CS’04), director of Facebook New York; James Gosling (CS’83), chief software architect of Liquid Robotics; and former CS department head Peter Lee, now vice president of Microsoft Research.
If you weren’t able to join us, you can find video of the talks on the SCS25 website (cs.cmu.edu/scs25). The celebration continues with additional events in the spring. Stay tuned for further announcements.
Fall also marked the first semester for our new dean, Andrew Moore, who returned to campus after leading Google Pittsburgh for the past eight years. As you can imagine, he’s been busy getting re-acquainted with the school and meeting with as many people within the SCS community as possible.
One of his top priorities is getting to know you—our alumni—and he’s eager to share his ideas and plans for SCS over the next five years. Alumni will have a chance to hear from him at many of our upcoming regional alumni events around the United States. We hope you’ll take advantage of these opportunities to meet Dean Moore. Be sure to keep an eye out for our e-vites or check the SCS alumni calendar (cs.cmu.edu/alumni) for the latest event information.
None of these activities would succeed without our alumni community’s support. It’s been great seeing so many alumni participate this year in our outreach activities, and especially nice to see alumni reconnect for the first time since graduation. Our continued success and growth is dependent upon our alumni’s willingness to give their time, energy, expertise and resources.
I’m often asked what makes a successful alumni relations program. The question isn’t necessarily what, but who makes an alumni relations program successful. The answer is simple: People. Establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships with our alumni is a key measure of success.
It’s important to also recognize the crucial role that donations play in the university’s drive to maintain excellence. Alumni contributions help, among other things, support faculty research, attract top students, establish student scholarships and fellowships, improve university rankings and build educational programs. Without these gifts, it would be difficult for the university to maintain the exceptional level of educational and research quality we have come to expect.
Gifts come in many forms, and a successful alumni relations program relies on one very important gift: the gift of time. Alumni relations programs strive to build, strengthen and sustain relationships with the alumni community. Success in building the community is dependent on the participation of alumni. The more alumni become involved, the more robust and valuable our alumni network becomes.
Alumni who volunteer their time to give talks, attend events, speak with high school students, recruit future graduates, participate on alumni boards or volunteer for SCS initiatives contribute immeasurably to our success. Alumni are our greatest voice and we rely on them to serve as advocates for both the School of Computer Science and the university.
As we head into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I’d like to say thank you to all our alumni for their continued support, engagement and advocacy.
Remember the gift of time is one of the most immeasurable gifts you can give. Our continued success depends on it!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you in 2015.
Tina M. Carr (HNZ’02)
SCS Director of Alumni Relations
Tina M. Carr | 412-268-8919 | firstname.lastname@example.org