February 2021 RSE Alumni Retreat Further Develops RSE 3.0

RSE Alumni convened virtually in the February 2021 Retreat to discuss the progress on RSE 3.0, RSE’s strategic plan. Over 80 alumni registered for the retreat and over 50 attended the Saturday February 20, 2021 four  hour discussion.

The first half of the meeting centered around the current progress of the Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC) and the RSE Trustees current interaction with the Rensselaer Administration.  The ten (10) AAC work team leads outlined the status of the RSE 3.0 plan including the detailed mission and activities of RSE 3.0. Specific areas included several plans for new member recruitment and education, student house operations, alumni support, Rensselaer Administration interactions, financial structure, 1501 Sage Ave facility updates, a large-scale capital plan as well as an RSE 3.0 governance structure. 

The second half of the meeting focused on feedback discussions with the alumni regarding the draft RSE 3.0 plan. Substantial discussions of the key issues facing the RSE 3.0 plan produced several significant takeaways from the alumni including:

  • Mission definition and key activities of RSE 3.0 need to be broad enough to attract a broad spectrum of members. The RSE 3.0 mission should not be viewed as solely focused on entrepreneurship since many members may not have a desire to start a new company or work for a startup.
  • Current student and potential new member input is essential for RSE 3.0 to ensure that we create a plan relevant to students. (We are working closely with several faculty members who are sponsoring some students to lead a research and engagement process with current students. More to come on this in a future article).
  • Communications with the alumni must be increased in both frequency and detail to ensure we keep everyone informed on the events over the next 2-6 months.
  • Continuous alumni involvement will be critical in the sustainment of RSE 3.0. The ongoing role of alumni, specifically how to be involved as well as the requirements and time commitments, need to be detailed.  Alumni involvement can take many forms and include options for as little or as much time as an individual alumnus can provide.
  • Clear branding and messaging of RSE 3.0 will be essential. A recommendation was made that additional effort be put into the communications strategy to all the relevant audiences.
  • Recruitment of new members is a critical program. Significant discussions about how to reach out to potential new members, identify the desirable characteristics of new RSE members, develop a recruiting and selection process that attracts these members, and institute an education process that supports the values and mission of RSE 3.0 were held.

The AAC has documented this and other feedback and is now incorporating this into the RSE 3.0 plan.  The focus over the next 60-90 days will be in four areas:

  1. Engage students and faculty to finalize the mission and initial activities of RSE 3.0.
  2. Develop more active alumni communications and a clear plan for alumni involvement in RSE 3.0.
  3. Develop and detail the new member recruiting, selection and education process.
  4. Finalize core elements of the RSE 3.0 plan. 

More to come on each of these areas in future communications.  The AAC’s goal is to bring the RSE 3.0 plan to the Spring Society and Trustee meeting on April 24th, 2021 for approval.

Thank you to those that participated in the Retreat and those members who have reached out to us individually.  Your feedback and involvement is critical to the success of RSE 3.0.

As always, feel free to contact me or any of the AAC members if you have any comments or questions.


Don Thoma ‘83
AAC Chair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.