Chapter Highlights: Graduate Council

The Gamma Alpha house

The Gamma Alpha house

Lilly Steger

In the summer 2018 edition of The Laurel, we highlighted the four “pillars” of a strong chapter - the Resident Council, the Housing Corp, the Board of Governors, and the Graduate Council. With the school year coming to an end soon, we wanted to share some of our outstanding examples of chapter organization, as well as alumni support, so chapters can begin considering their plans 2019-2020 academic year. Read this blurb from The Laurel to see how Marty Schendel, Michigan Tech ’81, and the rest of the Gamma Alpha chapter run their grad council:

If the enthusiasm and strength of these undergraduates can be retained and carried over to their alumni years, we begin to see truly great things happening. At Michigan Tech, Marty Schendel, Michigan Tech ’81, is running a superb Graduate Council. The Gamma Alpha Graduate Council was officially founded in 1987, when a group of more-active alumni met in Detroit to draft a charter, bylaws, and create a board of trustees. This Graduate Council has taken several innovate steps to support alumni as well as undergraduates. Spring of every year, Marty makes an effort to take the graduating seniors out to lunch and gives them an orientation packet, welcoming them to the Graduate Council. He goes through it page-by-page to help the seniors prepare for life as an alumnus. They even have a small-sum giving structure set up, where alumni can have $12.09 withdrawn from their bank account at the first of every month (1209 is the address of the Alpha Gamma house). They also maintain career opportunities through an email list, where alumni can post open positions and undergraduates can reach out about possible job inquiries. The email list has also been used for Co-Ops or housing and has proved to be a massive success. This is, in part, because it services both students and alumni. “We wanted to provide support to the active members of the house, but also to alumni, whether they’ve recently graduated or if they graduated decades ago,” said Marty about the accomplishments of their Graduate Council in general. “We would encourage any chapter to develop an alumni foundation that supports that feeling of bonding or ties being never ending. We should always be there to support each other.” 

If you are interested in creating a Graduate Council like Gamma Alpha, please contract your Domain director here.