Dear Fellow Alumni:
“What do we do now?” Robert Redford’s line in the last scene of his 1972 satirical comedy, “The Candidate,” when he wins the U.S. presidential election is apt now not only because it’s election season, but also because it’s a key question for our Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors (MAAB) and all of us alumni. And the opportunities are exciting.
Dean Eric Neilson and his senior staff want more active involvement by alumni, and the MAAB is positioning itself to do just that. Dr. Jim Kelly, Board president-elect and chair of our Engagement Committee, is recruiting 40 additional alums to help achieve key objectives, including more representation from younger alumni and better geographic alignment with where our alums reside. In August, Jim Kelly, Rishi Reddy (chair, Mentoring), Jeff Sherman (chair, Strategic Initiatives), David Winchester (immediate past president) and I met with Dr. Alan Krensky (vice dean for Development and Alumni Relations), Larry Kuhn (assistant dean for Development) and ML Farrell (director, Alumni Relations) in Chicago to discuss the future trajectory of the Board and its central purpose: What does the medical school mean to alumni and what is our mission as MAAB members?
“Alumni pride,” “increasing national and international recognition,” “rapid upward trajectory,” “better than when we attended,” “top tier,” “track record of successful alums” and “strong alumni support of students and scholarships” were central themes we discussed, which have also been evident in your survey responses. We alums take pride in the Feinberg School of Medicine’s growth and accomplishments, and out of this discussion emerged the following mission statement:
“Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has emerged nationally and internationally as a top-tier medical school with a strong upward trajectory. The purpose of its Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors is to foster among its members a spirit of loyalty, professional interaction, mentoring and philanthropy, including scholarship support, so as to help attract top talent and ensure the continued growth and success of the School as a leader in education, patient care and research.”
Strong alumni pride and Feinberg’s increasing leadership role of excellence in medical education and research are key ingredients for expanding alumni engagement. So now what do we do?
Engagement comes in “many flavors,” including mentoring and fundraising. Global Health is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when alums align with strong Feinberg programs so as to spawn a whole greater than the sum of its parts. As alumni, we have a great deal to offer in addition to money; but our financial contributions are also critical. Indeed, it is the generosity of alums and other donors that has fueled the recruitment of top talent and the ascent of emerging top-tier schools such as the Feinberg School of Medicine.
In the following box is a list of MAAB members. To contact them or the Alumni Relations group to find out how you can get involved, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce Scharschmidt, ’70 MD
Medical Alumni Association Board President