Cranfield Update + Save the date Monday May 26
This will be a long update – apologies in advance – there is a lot of news, especially for the 100+ Cranfield Alumni we have recently welcomed to our community.
Save the date – Monday 26 May 2014
The Award Dinner for the Eighth Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship will be held at The Langham Hotel, Sydney (formerly The Observatory) on Monday 26 May. Our Patron John McFarlane will present the Scholarship to the winner. As in previous years, the Scholarship Foundation AGM and The Insiders View – an informative presentation by one of our Alumni – will precede the Award dinner.
President’s Lunches and Alumni events
In early February, Stephen Williams hosted the second Annual President’s Lunches in both Sydney and Melbourne. These were once again, a resounding success, and achieved our aim of bringing together Alumni, key media and business leaders to help get the message out about the unique nature of our Scholarship – now in its eighth year. The results – a short, positive write-up in the Australian Financial Review, the commitment of the attendees to promote our Scholarship to their organisations and increased awareness of the Cranfield brand.
The lunch dates marked the start of the formal selection process for this year’s Scholarship with the administration of the Cranfield Admission Test (CAT) in the afternoon followed by an evening reception for the broader Alumni community, which gave prospective Scholarship candidates the opportunity to meet with Alumni from all Schools. A successful Alumni event for Brisbane was held in late February.
The Scholarship pipeline
Since 2007, 14 talented Australians have benefited from our activities and studied at Cranfield for their MBA. Very soon, we will know the final number of students that our efforts may acquire for Cranfield for this year. The possible tally is seven, five of which are Australian citizens and thus eligible to be considered for our Foundation Scholarship. Once again, the selection panel will have its work cut out in selecting a winner for 2014.
Our Scholarship comprises two elements; course fees, contributed by Cranfield and a cash grant (in past years $20,000), funded by the Australian Alumni.
In awarding the Scholarship, our stated ethos is that beneficiaries must ‘pay forward’ the benefit they receive. This allows us to choose the best possible winner rather than a ‘worthy one’. Eventually this will mean the Scholarship will become self-funding. For now, Alumni support is critical.
Our fundraising efforts continue to be hampered by lack of tax-deductibility for donations in Australia. Happily we can now accept tax-deductible donations from UK-taxpayers via the University. Australian donations can be made here.
Please make a gift to support the work of the Foundation. Contributions of any size are genuinely appreciated.
Current and past Scholarship beneficiaries
I caught up with the 2013 cohort, Daniel George and Kevin Ha and found them somewhat bleary-eyed which suggests that they are working long and hard.
At the School of Management Alumni Awards Evening at the Royal Society, London in February, John McFarlane our Patron, Anna Baggoley (2011 Scholar), David Scollon (2012 Scholar) and Daniel George (2013 Scholar) – missing from the photo – were all in attendance. I also managed to catch up with Aashlesha Venkatachalam and Adam Cox who are also presently working in London. Ben Elias is back in Sydney working on an entrepreneurial start-up.
News from Cranfield
During my visit to Cranfield in February, I was fortunate to meet with Sir Peter Gregson, CEO & Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Joe Nellis, Director of the School of Management and Prof Ian Wallace, Head of School, Defence & Security (Shrivenham). A core focus of all discussions was the Alumni community. Sir Peter also shared this presentation with me with highlights about the University.
I describe the University as having ‘got religion’ about the Alumni. Specifically, what we have achieved in Australia is now seen as a model that the University is keen to roll out to all Alumni communities across the globe. As Alumni, we can play a key role in funneling talented students to the University. The flip side of the coin is that a strong Cranfield brand is enormously important to help Alumni achieve their career/life aspirations. We can expect to see many positive changes as a result of Sir Peter’s commitment to re-engage with Alumni from all the Schools. Watch this space…
Sir Peter intends to make a major visit to Australia in 2015 – hopefully to coincide with our May Award events. For this year’s dinner he will be sending a video message for us to show.
Sir Peter describes the Cranfield Alumni as “one of the most influential networks in the world”. Based on the incredibly impressive Alumni that we are finding /connecting with on LinkedIn, it is clear that Sir Peter is absolutely correct.
We Alumni are the start and end of a virtuous cycle:
- in which excellence and diversity in the student body leads to increased richness and quality of learning,
- this feeds the success of the graduates and the academic staff and the University as an outstanding academic institution
- in turn, this produces a stronger and more vibrant Alumni community to support and act as role models to attract outstanding students.
Creating a community in which Cranfield Alumni can come together, exchange ideas, share knowledge and experience, seems like a ‘no brainer’. LinkedIn provides us the means to find and reconnect with the Alumni. Our efforts to create a vibrant community can both enable and shape the University’s stated strategy to reengage and support the Alumni.
How you can support our Australian Alumni community
We have organized the Australian Alumni community around the principles of contribution and connection. Our Scholarship is our unifying purpose and the vehicle by which Alumni can contribute in ways that best suit them – small or large, time, money, effort or resources. You can help by:
1. Attending our next event, the Award Dinner in Sydney, Monday 26 May
2. Finding Alumni
Please connect to other Alumni on LinkedIn and to any/ all of the Board and introduce us to Alumni that you are in contact with. We are keen to find alumni from all Schools. All the information you need to do this is here.
3. Branding yourself visibly as a Cranfield Alumnus
Join the official groups on LinkedIn to clearly identify yourself as a Cranfield Alumnus. These are the links to the Official School of Management Alumni and the Scholarship Supporters groups. For other Schools search for ‘Cranfield’ groups on LinkedIn.
4. Supporting us financially
In a separate email we will give suggestions – ranging from sponsorship & advertising to donations.
5. Getting involved, joining the Foundation and/or nominating for the Board.
We are always delighted to welcome new hands on deck. An invitation to become a member of the Foundation (for which there is no charge) and for Board nominations will come out shortly.
6. Promoting the Scholarship to your network
Please help us make as many people as possible aware of our Scholarship opportunity by forwarding the November announcement email to friends, colleagues and your professional network. You can also share this page about our Scholarship.
I look forward to seeing you at the dinner in May.
Alexandra Chapman (MBA 1988) on behalf of Stephen Williams (MBA 1993), President
and the Board of the Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship Foundation.
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