Dear Fellow Alumnus:

2006 is an important year for Wharton. It is the 125th anniversary of the founding of the School and of the inauguration of management education. The School and the Alumni Association have planned a full year of events, conferences, and other festivities to celebrate this milestone, starting with a global conference in Mumbai on January 6-7. This event will be followed later in the year by global conferences in Rio de Janeiro and Istanbul. The Alumni Association Board will be participating in these events, and we look forward to meeting many of you.

Anniversaries are a time of celebration, and also a time to review our goals and accomplishments. As Wharton marks its 125th year, it is appropriate for the Alumni Board to review its mission, as well as the process by which we recruit new members and their defining characteristics. This year we have initiated a system to identify students who demonstrate a long-term commitment to the School while they are still on campus, to facilitate their transition to leadership roles after graduation. Likewise, we are developing programs to identify, acknowledge and honor those alumni leaders who have consistently contributed their time and talents to their Clubs and to other School programs over the years.

As part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen the Alumni Association, our Nominations Committee has begun soliciting nominations for this year’s open positions on the Board. To build a world-class alumni organization, it is essential that we recruit alumni who share our vision and willingness to devote significant energy and time to achieve the Association’s goals. We continue to raise our expectations for Board membership, seeking alumni who have a significant track record in alumni volunteer leadership through local or affinity clubs, reunions, student involvement or development initiatives. We seek nominees who are willing to serve as alumni ambassadors, to assume responsibility for major board projects, to regularly attend board meetings, and to make a financial contribution at the Benjamin Franklin Society level. We will be contacting all club presidents for nominations, and we encourage all interested and qualified alumni to contact Dawn Downing in the Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving Office ( or 215-898-5571) to submit a nominee for consideration or to obtain an application for self nomination.

In building our world-class Alumni Association Board, we will also make the path to Board membership a more transparent and accessible one. We are surveying all possible opportunities for alumni participation, from club leadership to campus presentations, from board sub-committee membership to externship sponsorship. We plan to create an inventory of opportunities this year to better communicate volunteer pathways and to establish a pipeline of committed volunteers for our Board.

In closing, I urge you to join us in celebration of the 125th at the global conferences, at local club events, and on campus. In preparing for next year’s board elections, I also urge you to forward nominations to the alumni office. As always, I welcome your suggestions and comments. It is only through alumni commitment and support that the Wharton network will grow and flourish.

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