Stay Connected

The Office of Alumni Relations is pleased to offer many ways for alumni to stay in touch with each other, and with Colgate! E-mail me with questions or concerns at

— Tim Mansfield, associate vice president, institutional advancement and alumni relations

Questions? Contact alumni relations: 315-228-7433 or

Homecoming extravaganza

Mark Divine speaks at Homecoming 2014
Homecoming keynote speaker Mark Divine ’85, retired Navy SEAL, author, and founder of SEALFit, talked about “The Unbeatable Mind: Forging Mental Toughness.” (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

The Chenango Valley echoed with the cheers of Colgate faithful during Homecoming 2014, September 18–21. More than 1,000 alumni, parents, and friends came for the festivities, which included sports, a bonfire, fireworks, and receptions.

The keynote address featuring Mark Divine ’85 was sponsored by the Presidents’ Club. A retired Navy SEAL, author, and founder of SEALFit, Divine encouraged students to affirm their core values and work hard every day, tapping their physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual strength to achieve success. He also urged them to sit quietly in this often-noisy and frenetic world, saying that, in silence, you find your reason for being. “If you don’t know your ‘why,’ in the most trying moments,” he said, “you’re going to quit.”

Hundreds of alumni helped students “find their why” during a meet-and-greet reception powered by Colgate’s eight professional networks.

That night, the Presidents’ Club kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration with a reception that highlighted the organization’s commitment to leadership, tradition, and impact.

Across College Street, Whitnall Field lit up with a bonfire, fireworks, and klieg lights that shone down on alumni band Waiting for Henry.

To keep spirits high before game time on Saturday, Van Doren Field was transformed into a pavilion of Raider power. Greek-letter organizations, WRCU-FM, the ALANA Cultural Center, the Presidents’ Club, the alumni office, and other groups pitched their tents and tailgated together before field hockey confronted Holy Cross and football defeated Cornell.

From beginning to end, homecoming was a celebration designed to appeal to Raiders of all generations, from John LeFevre ’41 to Jacob Leo, Class of 2034. “The kids had a ball at the village chocolate train fest, then tailgating and watching the football game,” said Jacob’s mother, Amy Leo ’03. “It’s great to see them getting a taste for Colgate and enjoying a family day in such a special place.”

Living Writers on ColgateX

LW Online, the e-version of Colgate’s legendary Living Writers course, kicked off during a reception with professors Jane Pinchin and Jennifer Brice in New York City on August 27. More than 700 alumni, parents, and friends enrolled in the class, made available for the first time via Col-gateX, which was developed through a partnership with the Internet-based education company edX.

Through Livestream events, video posts, chat-room conversations, and much more, participants had the chance to interact with four of the renowned international authors featured in the full on-campus undergraduate course — Nadifa Mohamed (The Orchard of Lost Souls), Jonathan Franzen (Freedom), Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), and Martin Amis (The Zone of Interest) — as well as the students, professors, and each other.

There’s still time to take part. Amis, author of Zone of Interest, rounds out the schedule on December 3, so visit for details and registration information. Want to catch Amis’s reading via Livestream? Tune in to at 4:30 p.m. ET on December 4.

Gate gives back in D.C.

Colgate Alumni volunteering at Bread for the City in Washington DC.

Alumni from the Washington, D.C., area after a day of volunteering at Bread for the City.

On August 17, volunteers from the Club of Washington, D.C., lent a helping hand at Bread for the City, which provides vulnerable D.C. residents with food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services.

The team spent the afternoon packaging produce for distribution centers throughout the district — including peppers, green beans, lettuce, and okra, reflecting Bread for the City’s focus on healthy eating.

The experience was educational for participants, as well … especially those who finally learned what okra looks like! The alumni also toured the Bread for the City facility, learning more about how it provides services and surmounts challenges. The rooftop garden, which supplements the food collected by the organization, was particularly interesting.

Prior to departing, in true Colgate fashion, some of the volunteers were already discussing their next opportunity to return to the facility.
— Dan Fichtler ’08, event organizer

Seniors in the City

Colgate Alumni gathering in Boston.

After students left the Boston Seniors in the City event and returned to campus, Colgate’s newest graduates descended on Beantown to meet with alumni at a Welcome to the City event (pictured here).

In July, more than 100 rising seniors took part in networking events — in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles — where they chatted face to face with alumni, picking up tips about work and play in their preferred metropolis.

“Seniors in the City was an exciting way to ask questions, receive advice, and exchange ideas in a low-pressure, fun environment,” said Juliane Wiese ’15 about her evening in Boston. “I felt comfortable approaching alumni and asking them about their post-graduation experiences, and I have even kept in touch with some of them in the last few months. Alumni are so excited to speak with and help students in whatever capacity they can.”

A ’gate debate

In the spirit of discourse and deliberation, Constitution Day on campus featured a hot-topic debate. The Colgate Lawyer’s Association, the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization, and the Program in Constitutional Government sponsored the September 17 event.

The debate featured Gus Coldebella ’91, a former general counsel to the Department of Homeland Security, and David Cole, a Georgetown University Law Center professor, arguing the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s bulk telephony metadata program. They focused particularly on Fourth Amendment implications of the program, which collects and archives basic information on all phone calls made and received in America. For some, that represents a violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Coldebella argued that not only is the program constitutional, but it is also a vital tool for a government intent on protecting its people.

Meanwhile, Cole argued that the program is a dangerous and unconstitutional overreach of power. He suggested that any favorable rulings on the program’s constitutionality were based on outdated precedents that failed to consider the capability of modern technology to scoop up and store vast amounts of data — a situation inconceivable to judges and lawmakers a few short decades ago.

It’s your constitutional right to watch the debate and decide for yourself at

Maurer on tour

Margaret Maurer discusses books and life with Colgate alumnae at Peg Flanagan's home.

Alumnae circle up with Professor Margaret Maurer at the home of Peg Flanagan ’80 for a Women at Colgate Book Tour conversation.

Nearly 30 alumnae knocked on Peg Flanagan’s door in Cambridge, Mass., on June 19. The Class of 1980 alumna hosted the final leg of the Women at Colgate Book Tour, featuring longtime English professor Margaret Maurer. Gathered in a classic English-class circle, the group dug into Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Maurer also led similar conversations in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City.

“Many of the women had studied Austen while at Colgate, but Mansfield Park is often characterized as unlike the reigning favorites,” Maurer said. “We had a good time thinking about it and, through it — about such things as the sister relationships and the first-cousin marriages (that don’t come off) in Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.”

Celebrating Colgate Day and the year’s Photo Finish

Colgate students spend spring break in St. Kitts renovating a school.

A COVE-sponsored trip to the island of St. Kitts is just one example of the impact
that generous gifts to Colgate can make in the lives of students. (Photo by Ashlee Eve)

June 13 marked the only Colgate Day in 2014, and Raiders around the country made the most of it. Nearly a dozen events took place from coast to coast, including a picnic in Rochester, N.Y., happy hour in Orange County, Calif., and a professional network celebration in Washington, D.C.

That special Friday also served as the kickoff for Photo Finish, the grand finale to the fiscal year. Hundreds of alumni, parents, and friends stepped up between June 13 and 30 to support current Colgate students. Coming on the heels of a record-setting $5.1 million Colgate Day Challenge on December 13, their participation helped the university achieve 50 percent participation among alumni this past year.