By Danielle Palmer, ’92, Director of Alumni Affairs and Special Events
added a biannual European reunion weekend in Barcelona; held a black tie Alumni Celebration in New York; expanded the business forecasts to 11 cities, including Brussels; and began offering alumni the opportunity to attend events sponsored by the Economics and Executives clubs in Chicago. Many other events are sponsored by the regional and special interest chapters in cities around the world.

Alumni career services.
Now known as the Office to Advance Career and Corporate Alliances (OACCA), career services has grown to a four-person office that provides coaching, workshops, resume review, and an e-mail newsletter. The job postings newsletter is now free to GSB alumni online and is updated several times a week. The Fisher Library at Gleacher Center is a top-notch electronic resource library available to all alumni, no matter how far from Chicago.

The student newspaper is now available to alumni and is accessible online. Publications such as Capital Ideas and Selected Papers, which highlight faculty research, are widely distributed and available on request. And, of course, Chicago GSB magazine continues to keep alumni connected to each other and the school four times a year.

Executive education. The big news is that four years ago, the GSB launched a short-course, nondegree education program. From its modest beginnings, the program has experienced dramatic growth and become a roaring success. The number of participants has increased from 234 to more than 1,700 annually. The program now has dedicated space at Gleacher Center and last year began offering courses at our Barcelona campus.

Distinguished Alumnus Awards. These peer-selected awards were expanded from one annual award to three: the Distinguished Corporate Award, the Distinguished Entrepreneurial Award, and the Distinguished Public Service Award, on the theory that alumni careers were simply too varied to lump everyone into a single category. Next we expanded the award selection committee via videoconferencing to include alumni in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, in addition to Chicago.

The Midway Club. Finally, we have a home of our own. Last November, we opened a private membership-based club facility for the GSB alumni family on the fifth floor of Gleacher Center. This is the capstone of the five-year effort. We know of no other business school that has such a dedicated physical facility for its alumni.This has been an ambitious agenda that would not have been possible without enormous support from the Dean’s Office; our faculty, who have given generously of their time to many endeavors; a brilliant and hard-working staff; and most of all, our 33,000 alumni who have responded to these initiatives with an enthusiasm beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you.

In the next issue, I will write about the many ways you, our alumni, can complete the other half of the equation:
how you can help the GSB.

Comings and goings
Michael Badar, ’96, ended his leadership of the Twin Cities chapter when he moved to California and was succeeded by Michael Napier, ’96. Welcome, Michael N., and thank you, Michael B. Good luck in your new home!

Mary Lynn Faunda, ’86, ended her successful term as president of the University of Chicago Women’s Business Group in January. Christine Cantarino, ’92, is the new president for a one-year term. For more on UCWBG, see
"Women's Business Group Celebrates 20 Years."

In the Bay Area, Jeff Ricker, ’81, and Debbie Derby, ’89, stepped down as co-presidents after years of dedicated service. Fortunately, they are still active on the chapter board. Thank you, Jeff and Debbie, for all of your support. Jeff Weinberger, ’86, took the helm after giving up the leadership role of the Tech/Venture group. Jaspi Sandhu, ’98, has taken over as president of that wildly successful group. Welcome, Jaspi! Jeff, you are incredible!

We have new leaders on the international front as well. Katharina Esterházy, IXP-2 (’97), and Marcus Schmidt, ’89, have taken over from Hardy Koth, ’94, for our Munich chapter. Thank you, Katharina and Marcus, for taking the initiative, and thanks and best wishes to Hardy.

For more information on alumni programs and services, click on “alumni” at or call 773.702.7727.
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Club Notes
U.S. and International Alumni Chapters

Class Notes by Year
Let your classmates know what you're up to. E-mail an update to

In Memoriam

Polly Kawalek, ’78

Kawalek's Staying Power

Lee Hillman, ’79
Bally Total Fitness Shapes Up

As most of you know, creating a lifelong partnership between alumni and the GSB has been one of Dean Hamada’s priorities in both of his terms. We recently passed the five-year mark of ramping up our alumni initiatives to achieve this goal of an active and effective alumni network, so it seems an appropriate time to present a progress report.

First, a little history. In late 1994, when I joined the alumni office, we had no alumni Web site—in fact, no formal Web site existed for the GSB as a whole. Our idea of electronic communication was to phone or fax. Our fax machine lacked broadcast capability and nearly all communication was by mail. This was not a case of being behind the curve; this was the norm a mere six years ago.

We then had about a dozen active GSB alumni chapters worldwide and a similar number of industry roundtables in the Chicago area. The major activities of the alumni office were to run networking lists for alumni and students and give “goody” bags at graduation. We had started holding GSB reunions in 1993, but these were not very well attended.

One area where we were ahead of other schools was career counseling. We had a full-time career counselor exclusively for alumni, and many of us benefited from the advice of Ellie Workman, who ably held that position before heading the office of student career services (and recently retiring to Arizona).

What we lacked was a well-developed means of creating and sustaining a network that could be an effective resource to alumni and the school. We needed to develop and implement a long-term strategic plan to create programs and initiatives designed to provide every alumnus with an opportunity to stay connected to and involved with the GSB and with one another.

It was imperative that any resulting structure would include opportunities for information to flow among alumni, corporations, and the school. It was important to provide forums for continued learning, socializing, and career enhancement, as well as face time for alumni, faculty, and administration.

If we were to do this right, we had to create an electronic presence; vastly increase organizations; increase the number and scale of events; increase written communications; create opportunities for executive education; enhance our career and business resources; make the school more accessible to all alumni; and—while we were dreaming—maybe we could build a clubhouse of our own.

Here’s a look at what we have accomplished
over the past five years:

Electronic initiatives. We built the GSB’s first Web page, which remains the largest on the GSB server. We introduced Email4Life and became the first b-school to offer a free e-mail address to all alumni. We still offer the only full-service alumni e-mail among our peer schools. Two years ago, we made the alumni database available online. In an effort to balance access with confidentiality, the database lists only business information and is accessible only to alumni. In addition, many events—particularly regional ones—are advertised only via e-mail broadcasts. For this reason, we cannot stress enough the importance of providing the school with a current e-mail address.

Organizations. We now have 64 global alumni chapters; 10 industry roundtables; 10 class organizations (including five international Executive Program groups), and numerous informal groups. A biannual leadership conference is held in Chicago for all chapter, class, and roundtable leaders.

Events and conferences. We added an annual black tie Alumni Celebration dinner to the existing Management Conference and Business Forecast Luncheons, which were also enhanced and expanded. Not meant to be fundraisers, these three major events provide a way to celebrate being a GSB alumnus. Roughly 1,500 people attend the Management Conference and Business Forecast Luncheon each year; thousands of people have attended the four Alumni Celebrations thus far. We instituted a box lunch series;
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