The Board of Governors: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

The Board of Governors connects alumni with the current student body.


The Board of Governors connects alumni with the current student body.

What was life like at Hotchkiss during fall semester? During the semester break, the 25 members on the Board of Governors met on Zoom to understand the answer to that question. The February 4 meeting opened with a Q&A session with Mr. Craig Bradley, head of school, and past members of the board about community life during the pandemic. After the Q&A, each committee presented reports on their work and discussed plans for the upcoming semester.

The Board of Governors operates four committees: Admission & Engagement, Communications, Diversity & Inclusion, and Award & Membership Nomination. Together with the Alumni Association, the Board of Governors connects alumni with the current student body and aims to enhance alumni engagement and share alumni information and achievements. Mr. Tom Seidenstein ’91, president of the Board of Governors, said, “We have amazing alumni doing all sorts of great things that should be inspiring to people, current students, young alumni, or anyone. [It is important to have] a really tight interaction between the [alumni and the school], because a very dedicated, loyal alumni base [helps support] the goals of the school and vice versa.”

This year, the Board of Governors has faced challenges promoting alumni engagement, since the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented in-person gatherings such as reunions and the Senior Induction Dinner. However, the board has found new opportunities to connect with alumni through technology. Mrs. Caroline Reilly ’87, director of constituent relations, said, “[It has been fun to] engage a broader group of alumni [who] just aren’t in the major urban centers. All these events are happening on Zoom, so no matter where you are in the world, you’re able to participate in events and activities, whether it’s a class being taught by a former art teacher or a talk being offered by [an alum].”

So far, the Board has worked closely with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee on special programming for students and alumni of color, and going into the spring, they are thinking about the Seniors, who have had an unusual year. On February 25, the Board highlighted the diverse accomplishments of several black alumni with an online panel entitled “Creating Your Legacy: Insights from Alumni During Black History Month.” 

In the spring, as the board focuses on welcoming the class of 2021 to the alumni community, Mr. Seidenstein said, “I’m conscious of [members of the] class of 2021, who have experienced their Senior years in a way that none of us had in the past. We want to embrace them as part of the alumni community in a way that they deserve to be embraced, and maybe more so because their senior year experience was different.”

The Board of Governors will reconvene for its annual spring meeting on May 13.