Change is in the air in Fall 2009!

By all measures, change is in the air!

Today change permeates the newscasts, smacks our industry walls, absorbs deep into our skins. The Cornell Club of Arizona is navigating this new world awash in profound changes. As you’d expect, we are adapting and responding to these outside forces.

Our group is in the midst of making some positive changes for the new calendar year.

Changing of the guard:

I am passing the torch after two years as President. It has been an honor to connect with the member base in the Phoenix area. It meant a lot to me to have the privilege of working one-on-one while deepening my relationships with my fellow board members. All the board members are special people that make our club great!

There are no plans to “disappear” from the Cornell scene. Rather, I plan to transition my role to supporting the alumni family and expanding the base of support through recruitment of new members. I plan to be among our people and “catch ’em while they’re fresh on scene” as a result of relocating to the Valley of the Sun. My new role will be comprised of highlighting the benefits of belonging to our local alumni club and reiterating the benefits that local students (sourced from our very own neighborhoods) receive as a result of our combined efforts.

Our diligent Treasurer, Leslie Tax Dos Santos, will be stepping forward to lead the group as President. Over the last several years Leslie has “maintained the books” and kept our financials square for the Arizona Corporation Commission and The Cornell University Alumni Affairs Department. She will now be moving front-and-center to lead our team forward in the new 2009-2010 calendar year.

Those who know Leslie appreciate her dedication and consistency to both our club and the students and families served through CAAAN (Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network). Leslie has been on the board quite a while and will have the innate feel for the annual calendar flow, events that work, and can be counted on to see things through. Please welcome her to this new post as she has quietly earned it over the last decade.

Changing of the Tune:

Our club is about making the choice to belong to a unique place and experience that helped shape our lives. Our awesome University, set atop a gorgeous lake in upstate New York is unlike any other place to study and grow. This opinion compels us to gather, to reminisce and to share how our common bond of education can help the world. When we choose to participate in local events and engage eager students and willing families, we put our real impact in motion for others to sample; to consider for their own future. This is why the CAAAN movement is central to our purpose!

Changing of the Seasons in Life:

Many of us are experiencing changes in our personal lives right now. Indisputable facts are borne out by our personal stories and real life conversations. One of the nice things about our club is that at the core, it resembles an extended family. We can walk through the seasons of life knowing that we are all in this together and cared for.

Changing of Our Attitudes:

As the effects of the largest economic recession many of us have ever seen reverberates through the local economy, we are forced to ask a big question: Is an alumni/member who makes a substantial monetary contribution more important than one that regularly contributes to our group’s purpose with their time, energies and talents?

The truth is that we need everyone’s help to accomplish our goals. I assure you, your involvement in any form for The Cornell Club of Arizona is highly valued.

Change in Emphasis:

Prospective students and their supportive families are given a warm forum with Donnelly Nariss-Maysey’s strong CAAAN group of volunteers. Year after year, both Donnelly and Leslie have provided breathing room for students’ and parents’ concerns to be expressed and properly addressed. They have steered the CAAAN unit into a well-maintained system of pairing young people in our area with “real life” graduates (you) conveying testimonials of learning and living at Cornell. Imagine how difficult it must be for young people growing up in the desert to picture all that CU holds in store for them! This valuable volunteer-based process assists many high-school-aged students to bridge the natural gap in visualizing an Ithaca experience at our world-class university. Thank you for your help in this effort.

Overall, our club is a healthy one. I look forward to serving you through this next chapter of change. We do this together in Southwestern Cornellian style.

Thank you all and Go Big Red!

David Calvino ’94
Director of Membership

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