30th Anniversary Of CAAE Part III: The Future

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To celebrate the 30th anniversary of CAAE’s founding in 1989, the Association’s Winter Institute held in Scottsdale, AZ, in February 2020 featured three special panel discussions moderated by founding member Steve Grafton, President & CEO of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. The final panel featured outgoing President, Barbara Dick, Assistant Vice-President, Alumni Relations, University of Toronto, in conversation with incoming President, F. Hoopes Wampler, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations, University of Pennsylvania.

As the adage goes, there is no success without a successor, and while Barbara Dick describes her end-of-term transition as bittersweet, the gratitude she feels for the support of her CAAE colleagues in realizing her accomplishments is support she is confident the very talented Hoopes Wampler will inherit.

“I have so many wonderful memories of working with the Board,” said Barbara. “They are such a fun, generous, talented, and hard-working group of individuals. I am continually impressed as I watch CAAE members thrive at their institutions, and appreciate when we all generously and courageously share our experiences and challenges with each other.”

Looking back on her tenure, Barbara reflected how she was “pleased that the Board was able to collectively move the dial on increasing member satisfaction overall by creating quality and engaging content for members, as well as creating meaningful winter and summer institutes.”

“My ultimate goal,” she added, “was to make things easier for future volunteer leaders who step into our Board roles.”

Looking Forward

I am continually impressed as I watch CAAE members thrive at their institutions, and appreciate when we all generously and courageously share our experiences and challenges with each other.

Barbara Dick, Former President of CAAE, Assistant Vice-President, Alumni Relations, University of Toronto

Hoopes expressed his eagerness in taking on the Presidency, building from Barbara’s tremendous efforts, to ensure that all current and future CAAE members “feel how valuable the network is and how it is a place to learn new skills, think about our craft and industry in creative and strategic ways.” He hopes that the Associations’ refreshed website currently in development, as well as other programs and tools, will give the membership the platform it needs to express its thought leadership, exchange valuable insights and share accolades to help elevate CAAE and its members. “It’s important that we provide value for our members, while serving our industry,” he said.

Hoopes also remarked on the camaraderie felt within CAAE as very inspiring. “I am really excited to be working with such a group of established professionals,” he said, “and it's really been a valuable resource to know all these folks that are doing amazing work at institutions, now quite literally around the globe. It's great to have that network of people to count on when you have questions, issues, or need to bounce an idea off somebody.” 

Both Hoopes and Barbara acknowledged the value and positive influence of CAAE membership in their own work at their respective institutions. “It’s been very valuable to look at the work happening at University of Toronto in relation to some of the best examples of alumni engagement and leadership by my peers,” said Barbara. “In some instances, I have been inspired to set the sights higher on my campus. In other instances, I have been able to share pride in the fact that my team’s work stands up well in comparison to the best that is out there.”

Hoopes noted that because competition between CAAE institutions is low – at least off the playing field! – there is a willingness for members to “share everything that we’re doing and collectively work together to help each other do our jobs better.” He added that his CAAE colleagues and friends have given him a foundation of knowledge and experience that motivates him to think more deeply and critically about the work being done at UPenn and within the industry as a whole.

When asked if she had any words of advice for Hoopes, Barbara was categorical: “Absolutely not! Hoopes doesn’t need any advice. He is an accomplished professional with great instincts, insight, and intelligence. He is a natural leader and a thoughtful and trusted colleague. I would tell him to have fun and to trust his instincts!”

Hoopes closed by saying that he is humbled to represent CAAE and agrees that the “trajectory of CAAE is very positive. We have more people engaged than when I first joined. As the President for the next two years, my hope is to really bring a member-focused approach to the organization, where we really think about the value proposition for members and find ways for people to get the most out of their experience with CAAE.”

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