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New Alumni Board president sets priorities

image: Campus NewsAfter three years as a vice president, Katharine L. Bensen, AB'80, has been elected president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors. The new president, a partner in the Chicago office of law firm Schiff Hardin & Waite, began her two-year term in July.

She succeeds Washington Post columnist Bob Levey, AB'66, under whose leadership the board developed more career programming for alumni, increased student internship opportunities through the Career and Placement Services (CAPS) office, and strengthened relations with the University Board of Trustees. Bensen plans to build on that foundation.

"Besides supporting CAPS's current efforts, such as Taking the Next Step and the Metcalfe internships," she says, "we are working closely with the CAPS office to develop programs designed to help students put their best foot forward when interviewing for jobs." Moving from students to recent grads, she notes that the board will work on reaching out to and involving younger graduates in alumni activities, and on cultivating future alumni leaders.

Her first priority, however, is toward having an alumni and visitors center. Housing the Alumni Association staff, the on-campus center, she says, would provide a place to get information on alumni benefits and services, meet friends, and attend receptions and dinners. Bensen adds, "We hope that alumni will take a leadership role in making this project a reality."

She lists three more objectives: working with incoming president Don Randel to implement his goals, strengthening the relationship of divisional alumni to the University and each other, and bringing more people back for reunion. "The lifelong connections with the University and your fellow alumni are some of the most rewarding relationships you will ever have," she says. "I just attended my 20th reunion and was reminded how terrific my fellow classmates are. Many were people I had not known in the College, but I have made some new friends and renewed some long dormant relationships."

Serving with Bensen are three new vice presidents, elected for one-year terms: Robert Boland, AB'83, MBA'87, of Boston, a senior vice president at Fidelity Investments; Patricia McKeown, AB'68, AM'71, of Boulder, CO, a partner with Di Marchi Partners; and Walter Vandaele, MBA'73, PhD'75, of Washington, DC, a senior vice president at PHB Hagler Bailly. Former vice presidents Paul Volberding, AB'71, and Geralyn A. Yoza, AB'81, MBA'87, remain on the board.

The Board of Governors also elected new members Linda E. Lu, AB'91, and Charles Schilke, AB'81, who will serve three-year terms. Based in Chicago, Lu is an attorney with Lowis & Gellan as well as a U of C class agent who chaired her fifth-year reunion gift campaign. Schilke is a telecommunications lawyer with Cole, Raywid & Braverman. Past president of the University's Washington, DC, alumni club, he chairs the Alumni Schools Committee for DC's Maryland suburbs. Departing the board are Francisco Gil Diaz, AM'69, PhD'82, of Mexico City, and Andrew Alper, AB'80, MBA'81, of New York, who was elected in June 1999 to the University Board of Trustees.--K.S.


Bensen invites alumni to e-mail her at katebensen@aol.com with comments or suggestions for the Board of Governors and Alumni Association.


  AUGUST 2000
  > > Volume 92, Number 6


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