Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Spring 2005Kellogg School of Management
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Reunion 2005 has alumni coming back and giving back — to keep Kellogg strong

by Raksha Varma

Kellogg School alumni and their families return to Evanston to celebrate the grads' first, fifth, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 40th and 50th class reunions April 29 to May 1. As Kellogg prepares for Reunion 2005, former reunion coordinators explain the importance of coming back to campus, and the role alumni philanthropy plays in the life of the business school.

"Reunion is a great opportunity to connect with classmates," said Karl Mills '84, co-chair of the 2004 reunion gift committee. "I was able to pick up a conversation from 20 years ago with many of my friends as if no time had passed at all."

Mills, a partner and founder of JMK Investment Partners in Oakland, Calif., and president of the San Francisco Opera (see page 70), also spoke about the significance of financial contributions.

"Our experience [at Kellogg] was subsidized," said Mills, 44, who resides in Lafayette, Calif., with his wife and three sons. "With the generous support of alumni before us, we were able to access a world-class education. Today, it is our responsibility to give back to future generations of Kellogg students."

As an alumni reunion coordinator committee member, Mills, along with co-chair Bob Egan, used challenge grants to help raise over $120,000 in 2004. With challenge grants, for every dollar an individual contributes, a pool of donors matches the amount. "This is a great fund-raising technique," Mills said. "The quality and level of the school cannot be maintained without these resources."

Tod Francis '83 expressed a similar perspective. "I joined the reunion effort because I wanted to help the school, as it had helped me years before," he said.

Francis, chair of the 2003 reunion gift committee, is managing director of Shasta Ventures, a venture capital company located in Menlo Park, Calif.

"Fund raising for the 2003 reunion was a challenge, but we managed to do it successfully with the help of matching gifts," said Francis, 45, who has served on the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board for six years.

"These efforts will help continue the Kellogg mission to deliver a high-quality educational experience for its students," said Francis.

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University