May 13, 2021 – Held via Zoom

Meeting started at 6:35pm Margaret Matz opened the meeting.

Brendan Fernes (Vice Chair of Annual Fund Committee) attended on behalf of the Annual Fund Committee.

Margaret Matz provided an update based on information received from Rob Marano (Annual Fund Committee Chair). She mentioned that OoAA will start tracking donations from RPIE and Maroon & Gold members. Brendan Fernes continued the presentation. He reported that YTD alumni participation is 12.5%. This year’s fundraising is around $2.2 million, of which about $1.7 million was donated by alumni. Margaret Matz noted that the information is from approximately last month due to continuing issues with the OoAA’s database migration. This leaves about $1.7 million to raise to reach the year’s total goal of $4 million.

Brendan Fernes (Annual Fund Vice Chair) showed a draft for the end-of-year appeal which was sent to OoAA for their edits and will be sent out soon by the Communications Committee. Brendan reviewed the committee’s goals. 100% Council participation was achieved. Efforts continue to be made to achieve the goal of 100% alumni participation and the overall Annual Fund goal. End-of-year fundraising will include the Penny for Your Thoughts campaign. The campaign will be run in parallel with Cooper Union’s Did You Know? Campaign. OoAA has additional outreach planned for end-of-year fundraising with which CUAA can assist, including outreach based by class year, LSK, affinity groups, and direct mail appeals. Lynn Lander noted that he and Stephen Gerrard are working with fundraising from LSK.

Brendan noted that peer-to-peer outreach will be helpful to reconnect with alumni. OoAA is asking the CUAA to recruit class anchors beyond the reunion years and help with personalized outreach to our own classes.

Brendan concluded noting that work is in progress to coordinate the Penny for Your Thoughts campaign and the Did You Know campaign.

Mary Lynch asked whether the Annual Fund has a graphic to post on social media for the Penny for Your Thoughts campaign. Margaret Matz and Anna Brook responded that there are none ready for distribution yet.

Anna Brook (CUAA Secretary) presented the minutes from the February 8 Executive Committee Meeting. Proposed edits were incorporated. The February 8 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes were approved by general consent. Anna Brook presented the minutes from the March 4 Executive Committee Meeting. No edits were proposed. The March 4 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes were approved by general consent. Anna Brook presented the minutes from the April 1 Executive Committee Meeting. No edits were proposed. The April 1 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes were approved by general consent.

Ron Vogel (CUAA Treasurer) addressed the 2021-2022 budget request. The request will be in line with previous years’ requests and will be addressed with OoAA. The budget will be presented at the Council meeting on May 20. Ron also provided the update that the CUAA bank account has been moved to Chase. Chase requires a physical non-P.O. Box address for the account, and it was decided that Ron Vogel’s address would be provided since he is the Treasurer.

Discussion was had to address the timing of the Alumni Trustee announcement as it relates to the Board of Trustees meeting and that better coordination with the BOT Governance Committee in the future would be helpful.

Margaret Matz proposed that the Alumni Trustee winner be released as soon as possible so that the Governance Committee can schedule the necessary interviews. The Executive Committee agreed that the results will be shared confidentially with the Alumni Trustee candidates and the relevant persons on the BOT.

Donato Giacalone (VP Faculty/Student Liaison) reported on meetings with the faculty and the schools. Fall 2021 is expected to be in-person, but there are further issues to address such as foreign students, housing, social distancing, vaccines. There will be an in-person graduation for classes of 2020 and 2021. Students are requested to be vaccinated; some have declined. Donato reported that students are feeling isolated and continue to have Zoom malaise. The buildings have COVID protocols, student counseling efforts continue, and lecture series and exhibitions continue. The Venice Biennale will feature multiple CU participants.

Margaret Matz asked Mary Lynch what kind of participation in graduation the CUAA should have. Mary Lynch responded that the CUAA generally gives out about five awards to students. The Deans of the Schools select the winners. The Communications Committee needs the names of the students in advance. There may also be a role for the CUAA President in the graduation, such as a speech.

Margaret Matz spoke about the end of the year. The Art show is starting June 1, others start at the end of the scholastic year.

Margaret Matz spoke about transitions in Council roles for next year. She mentioned Shankar Venkataraman (Election Committee Chair) is stepping away and transitioning to Sim Blaustein. Margaret suggested that with certain critical committees there should be a transition period. Mary Lynch and Carol Wolf suggested that the transition be addressed with the newly elected president.

Anna Brook reported that she met with Laura Sparks to address what steps need to be taken to establish an MOA between CUAA and Cooper Union. CUAA’s non-profit corporation status was addressed. Anna suggested that now seems to be the time to file for 501(c)3 status since that has been voted on by Council already and the attorney is prepared to do it. Ron Vogel reported that the attorney he is working with is ready to file when CUAA is ready.

Lynn Lander asked for a presentation about the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a 501(c)3. Mary Lynch suggested asking the attorney involved with the process, and Darrell Low, Robert Tan, and Paul Nikulin may weigh in. She also mentioned that Dan Burke did some research on the issue too. Ron Vogel said Eleanor (the attorney) likely can speak to the group. Anna Brook suggested getting information from the above-named alumni to help with background and questions that the group may have for Eleanor.

Lynn Lander moved to adjourn the meeting. Anna Brook seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 pm.