The BU Alumni Council and why it matters| From Alumni Notes | By Kelly Cunningham
You might not know who they are, but they’re looking out for you on a daily basis.
From advocating for alumni needs during discussions with Boston University’s leadership to providing University staff with guidance on behalf of fellow alumni, the BU Alumni Council (BUAC) has got your back.
The BUAC’s 34 members are professional and community leaders who represent all schools and colleges and hail from across the country and beyond. Their backgrounds and interests are diverse, and they meet several times each year on campus to make decisions regarding alumni programs, engagement strategies, events, and more (this year, the council pledged a $100,000 challenge to encourage seniors to contribute to the 2011 Class Gift). Known for their passion and frank dialogue, council members play a key role in ensuring that alumni interests are served by Boston University.
“The BUAC gives alums a voice with the administration,” says council member Ben Flaim (CAS’00). “It allows us to stay close to the University even though we’re not on campus.”
Get to know a few of your BUAC representatives, and why they serve you:
K. Clyde Vanel (LAW’01)
New York, N.Y.
Owner and Attorney
The Vanel Law Firm, PC
“At BU I grew intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. The University helped prepare me for the real world. Being on the BUAC is a great way for me to give back to the institution that gave me so much. I am constantly surprised by the amazing things that our alums have created, the companies they’re running or are involved in. Reaching out to alumni across the globe and reconnecting them with the BU family feels great.”
Debralee Goldberg (CGS’76, CAS’78)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
President and CEO
International Financial Data Services
“The BUAC helps me better understand the BU culture and how the University makes decisions and allocates funds. We thrive on getting alumni back to being involved with Boston University, and seeing and hearing their reactions to the great changes and improvements BU has made since their own graduation. I am a proud alumna, and I want other alumni to see how great BU is today.”
Alana Feld Hackel (COM’02)
New York, N.Y.
Executive Vice President and Producer
“My BU roots go deep. Both of my parents graduated from BU, and I met my husband there. After graduating in 2002, I didn’t have much contact with the University, so I thought joining the BUAC would give me the opportunity to reconnect with BU and meet some other alums. The council has also enabled me to engage other alums who, like me, had little involvement after graduation. Coming back for BUAC meetings, I’ve really been surprised by all of the new buildings and amazing facilities. It is a pretty incredible campus!”
Benjamin Flaim (CAS’00)
Vice President, Investment Management Division
“BU’s students and alumni are scrappy. They’re bright, motivated, interesting people who bring a lot to the table. I had a great experience at BU and want to make sure other alumni and current students get as much out of their education as I did, so I joined the BUAC. I’m committed to making BU a better place. BU’s come a long way in the past 40 years, but it still has a way to go.”
Joel Kitay (CAS’94, COM’94)
Port Washington, N.Y.
Kitay Productions, Inc.
“I was a Trustee Scholar, and that generosity enabled me to attend Boston University in the first place. My student years at BU were wonderful, and since then I have been able to have BU as a key client of my company. I’m grateful for all the things BU has given me, and as a result, whenever opportunities come along to ‘pay it back,’ I jump at the chance to take them. So, when I was asked to join the BUAC, it took me all of five seconds to say yes.”
Remember—the BUAC is only as strong as you help it to be. Have ideas or feedback for the council? Share them! Know an alumnus/a leader who might be a good fit for the BUAC? Nominations are accepted every February; to receive an alert when the process begins, sign up.