|ALUMNI ACTIVITIES Winter 2001|
It's all about getting involved and staying involved.
Marie Prange Oetting, A.B. '49, 2001-2002 chair of the Alumni Board of Governors, wants every graduate to enjoy the rewards of activity in the Alumni Association. "It's important for all alumni to discover how much Washington University has to offer each of us, throughout our lives," she says.
"There is so much more to 'giving back' than just giving money," Oetting says. "Establishing and maintaining a strong relationship with the University enriches our lives beyond measure."
She knows what she's talking about. She and John R. Barsanti, Jr., B.S. '49, J.D. '52, have chaired each of their five-year reunions, and Oetting has served as overall chair of the undergraduate reunion program for more than 10 years. "Reunions are a wonderful way to revitalize ourselves," she says. "By bringing people together who shared a significant experience, we get a new sense of perspective on ourselves and our lives. It's exciting to meet wonderful people and friends we didn't know before, with whom we have so much in common."
Beyond renewing ties, Oetting points to all the ways alumni can benefit from continuing their participation in University life. "The Alumni Association is committed to finding a fulfilling role for each volunteer. It plans a path for you to participate in a way that you will enjoy and is meaningful to you."
Volunteering might involve working with prospective students through the Alumni and Parents Admission Program, or participating with other alumni in community service during the "Month of Caring." It could mean contributing your professional expertise to your school as a member of the school's national council, or welcoming undergraduates to your home for a student/alumni dinner.
Stimulating educational opportunities include faculty and alumni presentations sponsored by Washington University clubs in 40 cities worldwide, alumni travel programs to every part of the globe, as well as alumni seminars and lectures on campus. Each occasion provides the opportunity to meet outstanding faculty members and hear them speak on their fields of study.
Keeping up with the rapid pace of today's world, in early 2000 the University, with support from the Alumni Association, developed a new online alumni directory. Slightly more than one year later, more than 10,000 alumni are registered users, reconnecting with one another in this password-protected directory of more than 103,000 alumni. To register for the directory, head to alumni.wustl.edu with the 7-digit number that appears above your name on the mailing panel of this magazine and other University mailings.
In partnership with the Washington University Career Center, the Alumni Association also helped to orchestrate the January 2001 launch of "Career Connections," a valuable online career networking service for alumni, parents, and students. More than 5,000 volunteers have already registered to serve as resources and share information and advice about their careers and experiences. Users can search the database by field of work, geographic location, and academic major.
All of these services offer exciting rewards and benefits while embracing the academic and service traditions of Washington University. The Alumni Board of Governors is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the array of services the University offers its alumni, by fostering a lifetime commitment to learning, community outreach, and exploration.
Looking toward the future, Oetting is interested in strengthening relationships among the alumni, the various schools, and the Board of Governors, and finding ways they can assist one another. She has an ambitious agenda, which includes enhancing participation among recent graduates. "It's important to educate students about the benefits of a long-term relationship with the University," she stresses. "Strengthening Washington University ultimately increases the value of each graduate's degree, and the personal rewards are just as great. The alumni who give back gain the most."
Oetting knows that from personal experience. A native of St. Louis, her enthusiasm has fueled her lifelong career of volunteer service to the St. Louis community. She served 12 years on the board of the Charless Home and for many years as a board member of Edgewood Children's Home. Today, she is active on the boards of Eden Seminary and the Care and Counseling Center, as well as serving on the Friends Board of the Missouri Historical Society.
Her ties to Washington University are many. She and her childhood friend, William J. Oetting, B.S.B.A. '47, J.D. '49, attended the University together and married in 1950. Their younger son, James W. Oetting, B.S.A.M.C.S. '76, was a member of the first class to graduate from the School of Engineering with a degree in computer science. She and her late husband supported the scholarship program for many years, and she recently endowed the William Julius and Marie Prange Oetting Scholarship.
In recognition of her outstanding service to Washington University and her devoted leadership for countless other worthy organizations, she received the University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994. In 2001, Arts & Sciences also honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Awardgiven, most appropriately, on the occasion of her 52nd Washington University Reunion.
Two years ago, the Class of 1949 celebrated its 50th Reunion. "We were the first post-war class," Oetting recalls, "and we were incredibly diverse in age and experience because of all the returning veterans. At our reunion, we decided to offer classmates a forum where the veterans could share their experiences and discuss the influence of their post-war education on their lives. With the challenges that face our nation today, I hope we all can share the inspiration these alumni found at Washington University."
2001-2002 Alumni Board of Governors Executive Committee
The Alumni Board of Governors chair and executive vice chair also serve as alumni representatives on the University's Board of Trustees.
Marie Prange Oetting, A.B. '49,
John L. Gianoulakis, A.B. '60,
Lawrence E. Thomas, B.S.B.A. '77, Immediate Past Chair
Jerome F. Brasch, B.S. '44, M.S. '47, Vice Chair, Planned Giving
John Michael Clear, A.B. '71,
Norman Foster, B.S. '60, M.S. '64, Vice Chair, Regional Programs
Stephanie E. Habif, A.B. '97,
Gordon W. Philpott, M.D. '61,
Sally Kopolow Silvers, A.B. '69,
Julia Jane Stupp, M.B.A. '83,
Alumni Network in Action2001 "Month of Caring"
Around the country, more than 400 alumni and friends made their mark in community service projects during October as part of the "Month of Caring." Sponsored by local Washington University alumni clubs in several cities, the projects benefited communities, provided a meaningful experience for volunteers, and honored the University's tradition of service to society.