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Nomination and Election

All alumni who have attended Colgate for at least one semester, and are members of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation are eligible to serve.

Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee reviews all nominations, then makes a recommendation for election based on each candidate’s potential for service. They ensure that nominees represent the class distribution and diversity of our alumni community, and we continually evaluate the nomination and election process, suggesting changes as appropriate.
The Nominations Committee operates in a yearly cycle that culminates in the publishing of a slate of candidates in the winter edition of the Colgate Scene, but nominations are accepted at any time during the year and from eligible alumni. An alum may nominate him or herself.

Nominations should be sent or e-mailed to the Executive Secretary, Tim Mansfield.

Each year, the profiles of approximately 300 candidates are reviewed and discussed. The following key criteria are used as a guide to selection:
  • Volunteer service and leadership in Colgate affairs
  • Consistent history of financial support to Colgate
  • Demonstrated commitment to Colgate over time
  • Meaningful personal or professional accomplishments or contributions to the greater community
  • Readiness and willingness to become more involved on behalf of the university
The Nominations Committee strives to select a slate of candidates that ensures that the Alumni Council reflects both the graduating class distribution and the diversity of the alumni membership as a whole.

Alumni Council Bylaws

Article VII, Section 2-3

Any member whose name shall not have been listed as one of the nine (9) candidates shall be eligible for election as a member of the Alumni Council from either the membership group that includes his or her graduation class or “at-large,” provided that a petition to nominate him or her that states the membership group or “at large” for which he or she is to be nominated and is signed by not less than seventy-five (75) members entitled to vote, shall have been delivered to the Executive Secretary no later than April 10 preceding the annual meeting.

During any particular year, no member may sign more than one (1) petition in each membership group and one (1) petition for an “at large” candidate. No member shall be nominated unless his or her consent in writing to nomination has been obtained.

If any candidates are nominated by petition, the Executive Secretary, not less than thirty (30) days before the date of the annual meeting, shall send to every member a ballot for the contested position(s). Ballots may be returned in any manner specified by the Corporation in the ballot, and no other. Ballots other than in person must be received by the Corporation not later than the day prior to the annual meeting. Any ballot returned in person must be filed not later than fifteen (15) minutes after the opening of the annual meeting. Only nominations made as provided in these Bylaws shall be voted upon at the annual meeting. In the event that there is no contest for one (1) or more positions, the Executive Secretary shall cast a unanimous ballot for the single candidate nominated for each such position at the annual meeting.


What is the Alumni Council?
The Colgate Alumni Council is the governing body of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation and consists of 55 alumni nominated for their exemplary volunteer service to Colgate. This independent body’s role is to represent the approximately 33,000 living Colgate alumni to the University, and ensure that the University’s largest consistent base is heard and has a voice in the future of the institution.

The Council is a diverse body with representation from all eras and geographies. The annual nominating process strives to bring alumni onto the Council who have a variety of Colgate experiences, viewpoints, and professional vocations. The one common trait binding all Council members together is a love for Colgate and a desire to see the University prosper into the future.

While not a policy making body, the Council has significant influence with the Administration, and are often used as a resource and sounding board. In addition, 6 members of the Council serve as full voting members on Colgate’s Board of Trustees (“Alumni Trustees”) to ensure that the alumni body is always well represented on the Board.
How can I find out more about the Alumni Council?
The Alumni Council’s web page describes its mission and goals. Also see current Alumni Council members and their leadership assignments and Alumni Council meeting summaries. You can also look on the Colgate Facebook page and Alumni Council Twitter feed. Learn more about the Alumni Council's most recent accomplishments.
How does the Alumni Council nomination and election process work?
The process is described in detail on the Alumni Council’s nomination and election page. A quick summary: The Alumni Council's Nominations Committee considers over 300 Colgate alumni—everyone who is suggested to the Committee by someone or who self-nominates—for nine slots: 7 representing each era of Colgate alumni, and 2 representing alumni "at large."

In doing its work, the Nominations Committee uses the following five criteria, which have guided the formation of a successful, engaged board for decades: (1) breadth of Colgate volunteer experience—with a particular eye toward demonstrated leadership; (2) consistent participation in Colgate’s fundraising programs; (3) diversity of talent and perspective, including occupation, community service, gender, race, and geography; (4) evidence of time and service to the world beyond Colgate.

The Alumni Council’s nominees are voted on by the full Council in the Fall and announced in the Winter issue of the Colgate Scene. At that time, any alum who wasn’t nominated by the Alumni Council can gather 75 signatures and run as a petition candidate. The election culminates at Reunion: if there are no petition candidates, a unanimous ballot is cast for the Alumni Council-nominated candidates.  Otherwise, the candidate(s) with the largest number of votes in each Era and At-large prevails.  

In 2016, one alumnus has petitioned to run in opposition to a council-nominated candidate. While the Alumni Council supports the right of any alum to run, and is committed to a fair election, the Alumni Council also believes in its comprehensive nominations process, and wholeheartedly supports candidates who the Nominations Committee has chosen.
How can I recommend myself or another alumnus for membership on the Alumni Council?
The Nominations Committee solicits potential nominees at the Alumni Council’s nomination and election page, as well as through the Colgate Scene and elsewhere. Many candidates come to the Council’s attention through nomination by other alumni or by self-nomination, and we encourage alumni to nominate themselves or others all year long.
I’d like to be a volunteer for Colgate. How can I do so?
There are dozens of opportunities for alumni to reconnect—opportunities that immediately help the university and its alumni, and promote communication and dialogue.
  • Alumni volunteers are the backbone of the district clubs network, which each year provides over 300 social, academic, athletic and service events for Colgate alumni across the country and the world.
  • Alumni serve as admissions volunteers, introducing Colgate to high school students who might not be able to visit campus, and giving students a deeper understanding of what Colgate has to offer.
  • Alumni raise money for Colgate, as class agents and President’s Club volunteers, in Reunion classes, and for particular groups such as the Maroon Council, Silver Puck and the Colgate Thirteen, to name a few.
  • Alumni provide career advice, employment leads and job opportunities to students at SophoMORE Connections and through the A Day In The Life program, and to fellow Colgate alumni via the Professional Networks.
  • Alumni serve as student leadership mentors, advising fraternity and sorority chapters and other student groups.
And there are many more ways, our website features Thirteen Ways to Get Involved for alumni seeking other ways to reconnect. And since volunteer service is the core criterion for the Nominations Committee’s selection process, someone who builds a record of Colgate volunteerism in this way is likely to come to the attention of the Committee to be considered for membership. We encourage alumni to contact Tim Mansfield, Associate Vice President, Institutional Advancement; Alumni Relations, if they would like to become volunteers for Colgate: it would be our pleasure to help them find meaningful and rewarding volunteer roles.