2016 Alumni Update (my last as President)
2015 was a year of projects and progress for the Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship Foundation (CAASF).
Scholarship and Alumni update
The Award dinner for the Ninth Scholarship was held at The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne on 11 May 2015 and was attended as always by John McFarlane our Patron. This year we also were fortunate to host Cranfield University’s Vice Chancellor, Sir Peter Gregson, and faculty members Simon Pollard, Elise Cartmell, Graham Braithwaite, and Debi Ashenden.
Organising events in Melbourne and Sydney and liaising with media to gain coverage of the faculty visit were hugely demanding undertakings as this year we were also especially busy with the scholarship selection. We upgraded our candidate interview process and had more candidates to interview than ever before at the final stages.
The President’s Lunches in February 2015 were hosted in Melbourne & Sydney and continued our process of relationship building, with a focus on CSIRO, indigenous organisations and Engineers Australia, with the aim of making sure that our pipeline of talent continues to grow.
- The visit from Sir Peter Gregson and faculty underlined the importance of the Australian alumni to Cranfield and the model that we have created here. We note that even our chosen word ‘community’ to describe ourselves has crept into the University’s lexicon;
- Development of Cranfield’s new brand communications is almost complete – we have seen the drafts and feel that you will be very pleased with the results;
- The School of Management’s rankings continue to improve;
- We continue the process of connecting with Australian Alumni to include them in our community.
It would be fair to say that projects consumed the bulk of the Board’s energy and attention has been somewhat less on the day-to-day tasks of alumni events and communications. This is something we intend to focus on this year.
And lastly …
We are seeking a new President for the Foundation. After many years in Australia with RBS, and more than 3 years as President of CAASF, for family reasons I have recently returned to the UK. This creates an opportunity for a Cranfield alumnus to take on the role of President and to work with the established board. We are also seeking alumni for Board member roles.
Whilst the Board presently comprises mainly School of Management alumni (who were instrumental in setting up the scholarship), the new President could be someone from any part of Cranfield. The main requirement is someone who has the time, enthusiasm and energy to devote to the role. In particular, now that we have established the pipeline of talented candidates, the Board focus will be on financial and operational sustainability.
If you wish to indicate your interest, or to suggest someone who you believe fills the bill, please make contact with us via the contact form here.
Finally, I have greatly enjoyed my time as President and am proud of what our Alumni Scholarship has achieved. We are well on the way to making ours the pre-eminent scholarship for the development of leadership and management skills for talented Australians who are passionate about Australia and want to contribute to its future.
I hope to see you all in May at the Award dinner when I handover the baton to the new President.
Stephen Williams (MBA 1993) | President
on behalf of the Board of the Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship Foundation.
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