As I write this, the Olympic medals continue to stack up for our country: Team USA. The young athletes performing on the world stage provide inspiration and hope for our future. All the competitors in China represent the best of the next generation, at least as far as sports are concerned.
The magnificent display of international sportsmanship provoked thoughts about how we compete here locally for the educational stage. Our group, the Cornell Club of Arizona, also works together as a team. Team Cornell AZ contributes regularly to the next generation of students by encouraging qualified applicants to seek an education from Cornell University. Our team also works to provide service to the local community with Cornell Cares Day each year. These are just some of the ways Cornellians are making a real impact in our home state.
Your involvement is appreciated in ways you might not realize. If no alumni of Cornell were to meet with eager students, they might be constrained to gather a sense of our great University experience by way of only phone and the internet. These intrigued students would be denied the rich story of your personal experience acquired while living and learning on campus. These students would not know that they have an extended family of Cornellians here to connect with on the breaks and to possibly join upon graduation. It is important for us to measure the milestones of progress with our recruitment and informational interviewing process.
Progress is being made through the one-on-one meetings with CAAAN (Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network). We know that students who have CAAAN contacts are more likely to attend Cornell if they are admitted — at least this is true for students who live far from Cornell. CAAAN is an important part of our efforts to find outstanding students and encourage them to attend Cornell if they are among the fortunate few who are offered admission. As the applicant numbers have increased from Arizona, it has gotten harder to be able to give them individual attention from alumni. We really need the help of more volunteers to make sure that we can reach every student who is interested in Cornell so we can help them understand the extraordinary opportunities awaiting them “on the hill”. Students also appreciate the opportunity to talk to someone about their accomplishments and to share more about themselves, and so unless we can find new, enthusiastic volunteers it will be hard for us to continue to provide this service at the level that we would like.
The CAAAN team has been doing great! Over the past four years we have seen an impressive increase in the numbers of applicants from Arizona. Since 2004 the numbers have steadily risen from a base of 120 applicants to 167 students last year.
This success prompts us to place a call for more “hands on deck”.
Please join with us and help inspire the future students that originate from Arizona.
This year we have a diverse range of activities. Online you will discover a well-rounded calendar. You can always click online and see for yourself what is scheduled. Our events are open invitations for you to connect with local Cornell Alumni. When you join us “on location” you can connect with alumni and get to know more about their lifestyles and interests.
However, there are a multitude of ways to connect with our group now. As an added service, the club aims to keep you “in-the-loop” by email pings that notify you of upcoming activities in the valley.
You might choose to remain abreast of life on campus through the students that are now in Ithaca for their education. Many of these students have profiles and blogs on sites such as Facebook.
This year we are pleased to expand the convenience of our website with the ability to pay annual dues online.
So on behalf of the board of directors, allow me to invite you to embrace the club of Cornellians that live here in Arizona. Because regardless of the school you acquired your degree from at Cornell University, it is your alma mater and this is your club.
So test out an event soon. We are confident you’ll find one to your liking.
You just might realize a new appreciation of the special heritage we all share as graduates of Cornell University!
President, Cornell Club of Arizona