The George Washington Alumni Association (GWAA) held its annual meeting on June 6 in the City View Room at the Elliott School of International Affairs, honoring W. Russell Ramsey, B.B.A. ’81, outgoing chairman of the Board of Trustees; recognizing 15 outgoing members of the GWAA board and welcoming 17 new members; and transitioning the GWAA presidency from Jim Core, M.A. ’96, to Steven Frenkil, B.A. ’74.
In his final president’s report, Mr. Core thanked the GWAA executive committee for its work this year, emphasizing accomplishments like increased career services programs for current students and alumni, a more diverse GWAA board and philanthropic contributions and pledges from 100 percent of GWAA’s 68 board members. GWAA also awarded more than 20 grants worth $30,000 to promote affinity reunions and sponsored successful events, such as the Alumni Achievement Awards, a Student-Alumni Day of Service, Alumni Weekend and the Alumni Outstanding Service Awards.
Mr. Ramsey took the stage as Mr. Core honored his 15 years of service on the Board of Trustees. During this time, Mr. Core said, the university added millions of square feet of classroom space, acquired the Mount Vernon Campus, made significant investments in athletics and witnessed the success of the Ramsey Student Investment Fund.
“Many of these accomplishments are, in part, the result of Russ’s focused leadership, his relentless attention to detail and his zeal for the George Washington University,” Mr. Core said.
On behalf of GWAA, he gave Mr. Ramsey a bronze eagle statue to symbolize how the university “soared” thanks to his contributions.
Mr. Core also recognized past GWAA presidents, alumni trustees, Student Association presidents, the co-chairs of this year’s senior class gift and 15 outgoing members of the GWAA board before reflecting on his experience as president.
“I kept meeting impressive alumni who cared, who wanted to do the right thing, who were volunteering because they wanted to see people succeed,” Mr. Core said. “This is what it’s all about—building a sense of community so people can succeed.”
Mr. Core, an avid craft beer-maker and biker, received several parting gifts: a framed recipe for George Washington’s small beer from Michael Morsberger, vice president for development and alumni relations, and a signature blackwood GW chair from GWAA. Mr. Frenkil presented Mr. Core and his wife with buff and blue cycling gear printed with the university logo and monogram.
Adrienne A. Rulnick, associate vice president for alumni relations and development, shared updates and several event reminders. She also led the traditional passing of the gavel, which officially transitioned the role of president to Mr. Frenkil.
His goals as president, Mr. Frenkil said, are to promote a culture of “Colonials helping Colonials,” enhance student-alumni connections, reinforce the diversity of GWAA and increase engagement in community service.
“An active alumni association is vital to create a voice for alumni,” Mr. Frenkil said. “This is an exciting time at GW and I look forward to working with all of you.”
Mr. Frenkil then introduced Student Association President Julia Susuni, new School Representatives and his appointments for vice presidents of GWAA. He also recognized the 2013 GWAA Prize recipients.
GWAA Vice President for Nominations and Governance Jeremy Gosbee, M.A. ’02, B.A. ’98, led elections for GWAA secretary and vice president for financial affairs and treasurer. The positions went to incumbents Jon Tarnow, J.D. ’96, B.A. ’93, and Larry Murphy, M.A. ’80, respectively. Elections also took place for 17 new members-at-large.