In May, Wharton held its annual Alumni Leadership Conference in Philadelphia. An impressive number of Alumni Club leaders from around the world participated, some in person and some via the Internet, along with school administrators. The Conference focused on opportunities for further outreach and growth among Club Presidents, and was a great opportunity for attendees to meet their fellow leaders, share best practices and learn from others’ experiences.

One of the principal areas of discussion during the day-long conference was technology—specifically, how to harness systems to integrate and increase alumni interaction and participation. The conversation was animated and probing, as participants demonstrated their desire for and commitment to the development of increased connectivity among alumni.

As I listened to the conversations and the ensuing post-conference discussions between members of the School’s staff and the Alumni Board’s Technology Committee, it occurred to me that the information technology goals of these alumni leaders mirror those of the Board as a whole. They reflect a shared desire for expanded communication and access, and for opportunities to leverage our resources, build more responsive organizations, research and identify needs, explore alliances, and celebrate achievements.

As part of the Board’s strategic planning process for the next two years, our five Board committees (Student Alumni, Global Clubs, Marketing Communications, Development and Reunion, and Technology and Information Management) are currently formulating their individual goals. These are not yet crystallized, but broadly, they will address our continued commitment to building a world-class organization—one that enables every alumnus to connect easily with fellow alumni, valuable resources, school administrators and potential employers. We are in the process of building tools and systems that offer seamless communication; simple identification and matching of interests, profiles and resources among alumni; systems for volunteering, giving, and joining; and expanded access to ideas and resources. And we are developing processes to welcome new members and engage those who have been disconnected from the network, offering all alumni greater opportunities to connect.

Finally, and equally important to this building process, we are working with the Alumni Affairs staff to prepare for the 2006 celebration of the School’s 125th anniversary and the founding of management education. As the year approaches, you will be hearing more about the events planned for these significant milestones.

As always, if you are interested in becoming more, involved in any of these endeavors, please contact the Alumni Affairs office at or contact me directly. We welcome your ideas and engagement. Thank you for your interest and support.

Vige Barrie
CW’74, WG’76
Chair, Wharton Alumni Association
315-859-4623 office