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2017 RSE Strategic Retreat

On July 28-30, 2017 fourteen RSE alumni, spanning 50+ years,  and six current RSE Junior Members met at the 2017 RSE Strategic Retreat in Newark, NJ to discuss the future direction of RSE.  The success of our Sesquicentennial Anniversary highlighted some the amazing accomplishments achieved by  our organization.

As strong as RSE is today, we feel that we can become an even more unified and vibrant Society, with increased relevance to every phase of our professional and personal lives.  The purpose of the retreat was to lay out a framework for substantive progress in propelling RSE into the future. 

The historic object of the Society was defined in Article ll,  Section l of the 1969 Constitution and Bylaws as “The object of the Society is the encouragement of scholarship and of original scientific research and the support and strengthening of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York.” The goal of the members gathered here was to define RSE in more current terms, specifically develop the mission and vision of RSE.

            The mission statement is the answer to the question “Why does RSE exist?”  The attendees had vibrant and deep discussions debating this question, and are proposing this draft for comment RSE Mission Statement:

Promote technological leadership, lifelong personal and professional development through the core values and engaged members of an independent Society.

This statement summarizes what RSE exists for – the continuous development of our members, and the enrichment of the Society as a whole. 

            The RSE Vision Statement describes the future that we see for the Society.  How does RSE benefit our Junior Members, our dispersed alumni, the RPI and Troy communities, and humanity at large?  The team proposes the following  RSE Vision Statement. 

Significantly contribute to academic, local, and global communities through a unified and vibrant Society.

            The attendees focused on the ‘big-picture’ issues facing RSE in 2018 and beyond.  As the retreat progressed we concentrated on three major themes to address:  RSE Traditions & Culture, Alumni Involvement & a Communication Plan, and RSE Core Values.  Each of these task forces has prepared a list of specific objectives to accomplish over the next few months. 

The meeting afforded the opportunity for current Junior Members and Alumni to have casual discussions about life in the House. The exchange of experiences as well as getting to know each other was of mutual benefit. Time has gone by, but the same experiences of 35+ people living together remain.

We expect that you will see changes in the near future.  The members of RSE have a proud history of completing great projects around the world, and on a smaller scale in our home at 1501 Sage Ave.  Building on this foundation, we are creating a renewed vision to help RSE ‘move the needle’ and become a purposeful and dynamic organization into the 21st century. 

We welcome comments from other alumni to help RSE further refine these statements, please forward them your thoughts and suggestions to me.


Charlie Adkins ‘94

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