2014 President’s Membership Letter

January 2014

Dear Fellow Veterinary Alumni,

I wish to thank The Ohio State University Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society (OSUVMAS) for giving me the opportunity to serve such a great organization. Since its inception over 50 years ago, the society has served the veterinary college and its student body with distinction and honor. My goal is to continue in the tradition of previous presidents to assist the society in supporting its mission. I welcome all veterinary alumni and society board members in meeting the challenges we will face as we move forward over this next year.

This year brings a major change to our society.  As many of you may already be aware, we are transitioning from a dues-paying society to an all-inclusive, non-dues paying society. This recommendation was brought forth after many months of research and discussion by your society board members, other alumni, and university representatives, through a dean-appointed task force. Although criteria of how one becomes an alumni society member has changed, the OSUVMAS mission statement remains unchanged and important.

A primary benefit this new model brings to our society is it provides membership to all graduates of our veterinary college. Everyone who has obtained a degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, which currently includes over 7000 individuals, will automatically become a basic member of the veterinary alumni society. Society membership in 2013 was slightly less than 25% of eligible alumni. By having a larger alumni pool to draw upon we hope to engage the time and talents of more members in supporting our society, the veterinary college, and its student body. Based on data obtained from our surveys, we lose the camaraderie of many new graduates as they enter the work force until feel they have the funds to join and support our society. This new model provides us the opportunity to include all graduates with college updates and alumni functions, and will keep everyone connected with the OSUVMAS. As we actively engage our out-of-state alumni to connect and/or mentor veterinary students living in their state, they will become significant ambassadors for our society. The society board will diligently work over the next couple of years to identify new opportunities for all alumni to interact with one another as well as with its future members, the students. 

Another benefit of this new membership model is that by making a $50 or more tax-deductible donation to any of the many veterinary college advancement funds, veterinary alumni will become sustaining members of the OSUVMAS. This donation can be applied towards the $75 sustaining membership donation of The Ohio State University Alumni Association (OSUAA).  Funding our society has always been important to help finance scholarships, student activities and equipment purchases for the betterment of the college and its students. We still need funds to go forward and are relying on the financial support of our alumni. Instead of non-tax-deductible dues, we offer several tax-deductible donation opportunities. These donations will go directly to the veterinary college, to a fund of your choice. The society board will continue to work closely with the sitting dean to fund our activities. Dean Lonnie King has committed a significant amount of funds for the next couple of years to be used at the board’s discretion as we communicate and establish the new membership model. Transitioning to this same model last year, the OSUAA experienced an increase in alumni donations and we hope to see a similar increase in donations to our veterinary college. This year will provide some interesting changes, new challenges, and some great opportunities for our society. I look forward to working with all of you and encourage you to become a sustaining member of our wonderful society. As your new society president I invite you to contact me anytime.

Sincerely,

Rob Brenneman, DVM ’84 (whahdocrob [at] yahoo [dot] com)

2013-2014 President, Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society