AFLSE President's Report for 2005
As we close 2005, I would like to report on some of the activities at the AFLSE
We have never been more active. There have been close to 100 events publicized on our web site this year. The majority have been AFLSE sponsored events including happy hours, wine tastings, lectures and seminars. Additionally we have promoted other events of interest to members, of which the highlights were the four receptions for Sir Howard Davies, the LSE Director. These were organized by the LSE Foundation for local alumni in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. I am particularly pleased that nine AFLSE Chapters organized “bon voyage” parties for students enrolling at the LSE, and these were attended by nearly a third of all students en route to London
The website, introduced just over a year ago, has been a great success. Secure credit card transactions for membership and event management has simplified our administration and reduced these costs at our national office. Additionally we are transferring as many functions as possible to a self-service platform (e.g. magazine subscriptions). This allows us to shift our limited resources from membership and event processing to chapter support. We already have plans to improve aspects of the web site during 2006.
COMMUNICATION WITH MEMBERS
Virtually all our communications are now by e-mail. In an effort to keep our membership fees at a low level, we have been forced to eliminate the hard-copy newsletter. In its place we send timely e-mails concerning events and news to our membership. We have allocated significant resources this year to updating e-mail addresses. Be sure to keep your own e-mail up to date at: http://www.aflse.org.
We expanded paid-up member benefits this year with the creation of an on-line membership directory, job postings and exclusive social club memberships. Early next year we expect to widen the offering to include a range of discounted insurance products.
Our objective is to enroll at least 10% of all US alumni (a little over 1200) as members, but we are unlikely to reach this target by the end of the month. Thank you to all of those who are paid up members. Please make sure that your membership is renewed when it expires – reminders are sent out to all expiring members from the website. As part of our program to increase membership, a new category of membership will be available for students starting next year.
The AFLSE is trying to ensure that alumni interests are addressed. To assist in this process, current AFLSE members will be receiving a short survey before the end of the year, and former members will receive the survey early in 2006. We would appreciate everyone’s views so that we can build as active and relevant an association as possible.
The AFLSE is solvent, but our membership dues are below the level required to maintain an active and vibrant organization and an efficient and responsive national office. As a result, we will be very actively soliciting former members of AFLSE and other alumni during 2006. We need this support if we are to continue our work of helping alumni to network for social, academic and business connections across the country and assist the best prospective students as they approach studying at LSE.
RELATIONS WITH THE LSE
2005 has been a great year for alumni relations at the LSE. In the fall an international forum of alumni leaders gathered in London and approved the formation of the first LSE Alumni Association. LSE has agreed to formal representation of alumni at the highest level of the institution. AFLSE is recognized as the official volunteer alumni association in the United States and has a leading role in the Global Alumni Association.
The AFLSE has developed a very close working relationship with the New York office of the LSE Foundation, which is devoted to fundraising with alumni and foundations, as well as fostering alumni relations with the School.
We have now awarded over 130 full scholarships during the 30 years that the program has existed. The endowment continues to be actively invested and to grow along with capital market, but in 2005 we were only able to award one scholarship because of increasing tuition costs and the weakness of the dollar.
The AFLSE could not function without a significant effort from a large group of volunteers. We have a Board of 30 thoughtful and active members, including many chapter leaders. We count at least another 50 volunteers who work hard to make a success of events at our 27 chapters. I would like to acknowledge the significant assistance from all the leadership in growing and strengthening the AFLSE in 2005.
We are always eager to have new volunteers for chapter activities and at the national level. Please contact me if you are interested.
WISHING YOU A HAPPY AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR
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