Energized and ready to execute—that’s how members of the Mendoza Graduate Alumni Board came away from their biannual meeting in mid-September.
The board acts as “focus group, sounding board, advisers, critics, and strategists” for the Mendoza College of Business, as member Chris Remington, MNA ’95, puts it. “We hope our recommendations and input contribute to Mendoza's reputation as one of America's best business schools,” he adds.
The 28 members represent a cross-section of graduate alumni at different ages, locations, and industries. They also come from a range of Mendoza’s graduate programs, including the MBA, MSA, MNA, and Chicago and South Bend Executive MBA programs.
The board includes three subcommittees—Fundraising, Alumni Engagement, and Admissions & Recruitment—that help College leaders strategize. At the fall meeting, for instance, they decided to undertake a new admissions initiative. Throughout the year, members will assist various grad program admissions departments in making phone calls to admitted students to congratulate them, answer their questions, and explain the value of Notre Dame degree. The group brainstormed ideas for the College’s communications digital strategy as well.
The Graduate Alumni Board also came away inspired by the vision that Interim Dean Martijn Cremers shared with them for Mendoza’s future, Graduate Alumni Relations Director Tim Ponisciak observed. Cremers talked about how the College could contribute to society, collaborate with the business world, and compete on the national and global stages, particularly through its unique focus on ethics and service. “The board wants to figure out how they can best assist and what different avenues there are for their fellow alumni to really participate and help out with executing on that vision,” Ponisciak says.
Members like like Susan Gergely, MBA ’88, appreciated the way Cremers sees Mendoza continuing to advance values-based leadership. “He emphasized the critical role that the College plays in advancing business as a force for good,” she says. “One positive example discussed was the Business on the Front Lines course, which explores the impact of business in societies affected by conflict and poverty.”
Board members, who apply to join the group and must demonstrate a history of passionate involvement with the College, each serve three-year terms, with the option for a second three-year term. "Participating has been a privilege and a great way for alumni to pay it forward as ambassadors for Mendoza," member Walter Zukowski, MBA ’80, says. “Board membership is truly a blessing,” he states, “and a wonderful way to give back to the University which has changed so many lives.”