2006-2007 Executive Committee of the Alumni Council


Committee Members: Renee Baron-Donatich ’86; Brian E. Boyle ’69; Daniel L. Bernstein ’59; William L. Healy III ’74; Robert E. Keiter ’57, President of the Society of the Alumni; Robert W. Kitchell ’77; Molly Lyons ’97; David L. Moore ’78 Annual Fund Co-Chair; David Novak ’91; John C. Ransmeier ’65 Chair; Christine Noyer Seaver ’81 Alumni Fund Co-Chair; Kristen M. Spargo ‘95; Betsy Cannon Smith '84, Alumni Secretary


  • Suzanne Coffee, Director of Athletics (September 21, 2006)
  • Frederick T. Griffiths, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Class of Professor in Classics (Greek) and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies (January 18, 2007)
  • Steven M. Gluckstern ’72 Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees (January 18, 2007)
September Meeting January Meeting April Meeting

At its September 21, 2007 meeting in New York:

  • Mr. Moore reported on the results of the 2005-06 Annual Fund and shared priorities for 2006-07.
  • Ms. Cannon Smith reported on plans for Homecoming, noting that the Annual Meeting of the Alumni Council would be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society of the Alumni at Reunion on Friday , June 1, 2007 and will include the presentation of the Distinguished Service Awards. 
  • Ms. Cannon Smith recommended that the appointment of Wade Fellows be added to the Charge of the Nominating Committee of the Society of the Alumni and the Executive Committee so voted.
  • The Chair introduced Suzanne Coffey, Amherst’s new Director of Athletics.  Ms. Coffey led a wide ranging discussion of the state of athletic programs at Amherst today.  She shared statistics, challenges and goals.  Among her immediate goals:  sharpen the mission of athletics, create a student athletes advisory council, have all teams perform at a high level,  support alumni partnerships with athletics through alumni games and advisory boards, and represent Amherst well at all events. 

At its January 18, 2007 meeting in New York:

Also in attendance were past chairs of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Council, Paul LaFerriere ’70, Samuel I. Rosenberg ’72 (by phone), Bruce D. Angiolillo ’74, and Caroline N. Gentile ’91.

  • Mr. Ransmeier called on Annual Fund co-chairs, David Moore and Christine Noyer Seaver, for the report on the Annual Fund.  The calendar year end fund results were distributed and reviewed, with particular attention to the activity in the 1821 Society.
  • The Alumni Secretary reviewed the Alumni trustee election process and reported the three candidates selected to stand in the 2007 election were: Stephen P. Campbell ’89, Ji Yeun Lee ’88 and Blair H. Taylor ’85.  Alumni Trustee candidates will address the following question:
As an alumni trustee, how would your background and experiences enable you to contribute effectively to the work of the Board of Trustees?
  • The Chair next invited the Secretary to present the candidates for the Distinguished Service Awards.  The Committee determined that it would recognize the group efforts which were not class based as a way to send a strong message of support for the gathering of alumni around different programs and ideas.  The Committee voted to present Distinguished Service Awards to:
  • Kristen M. Spargo ’95 (deferred from 2005)

 Group Service

  • Class of 1946/WWII Remembrances
  • A Tribute to the Darp Committee
  • Kresge Science Initiative Challenge Steering Committee
  • Ed Wall Event Organizers
  • Mr. Ransmeier introduced Frederick T. Griffiths.  Dean Griffiths held a discussion with the Committee regarding the College’s adoption of a mission statement.  Referring to his January 4, 2007 letter which outlined the process for the adoption of a mission statement for the College, as well as the larger process of reaccreditation, he opened the floor to comments and discussion.  A lively conversation followed.
  • Mr. Ransmeier then introduced Steven Gluckstern '72 who discussed the financial status of the College.  Mr. Gluckstern shared with the Committee a presentation on the history of financing the College, from 1960 to the present.  It provided an historical context and review of endowment, college resources, operating budget, expenditures, gift income, financial aid, faculty compensation and many other topics related to the financing of an Amherst education.  The conversation provided insights into the operations of the College over almost five decades.


At its April 26-27, 2007 meeting (at Amherst in conjunction with the Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee) the Committee:

  • Had a conversation with President Marx
  • Received an update on the Adoption of a Mission Statement from Dean Griffiths
  • Held a student life discussion with Ben Lieber, Dean of Students
  • Had a conversation with Suzanne Coffee, Director of Athletics
  • Had breakfast in Valentine with Charles Thompson, Director of Dining Services
  • Took a facilities tour with James Brassord, Director of Facilities/Associate Treasurer for Campus Services
  • Discussed Admission with Tom Parker, Dean of Admission & Financial Aid
  • Heard Peter Shea, Treasurer, discuss College finances
  • Toured the new Museum of Natural History with Steve Sauter, Museum Education Coordinator/Director Bassett Planetarium