Before launching into the important business prompting this letter, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself, having only recently taken over as president of the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association.

I graduated from Mines in 1983 with a BS in geophysical engineering, after which I obtained a law degree from the University of Colorado in 1989. I live and practice in Grand Junction, Colo., where I was initially involved with the association at the section level. I was first appointed to the board in 2005 to fill the remainder of my predecessor’s term, and last year served on the association’s executive committee as the president-elect.

In addition to being an alumnus, I have another important connection to Mines, as a parent. My daughter, Katharine, is a freshman studying environmental engineering, which has provided a refreshing perspective on the school. We have all seen many changes take place at Mines over the years, but having a sharpened interest of late, I’m more confident than ever that Mines’ significance and reputation in the earth, energy and environmental fields remain undiminished, and I am proud that my daughter is attending.

The alumni association has changed as well. Over the time of my involvement, we have grown as an organization, offering new services, benefits and events, and we will continue to do so. However, as with most nonprofit organizations, our resources are limited. We depend on alumni support, and I encourage you to become an active member of the association.

The important business alluded to above concerns a change that has recently been made to the association’s structure. For years, CSMAA has operated with a board primarily consisting of regional representatives responsible for alumni in a specific geographic area, where they help organize activities and encourage involvement with the alumni association and the school. However, while the association has members all over the world, we do not have large concentrations of members in a single region, with the exception of the Front Range and Houston areas.

To better serve alumni, we have moved to a structure in which directors will oversee critical functions of the association, such as communications, programming, professional development, support for admissions and recruiting, volunteer development, alumni recognition, campus relations, enhancement of the student experience, young alumni and development. We will strive to have these directors be as geographically diverse as our membership. In addition, the board will continue to include two student representatives (graduate and undergraduate); a director appointed by the school’s board of trustees; and the association’s five officers.

I’m confident that the new structure will provide a better framework for board volunteers to dedicate their energy and enthusiasm in practical ways that match their interests and skills. In time, with myriad possibilities for remote collaboration, this new structure will also open up a range of flexible opportunities for alumni to volunteer in ways that are personally meaningful.

With these changes presenting so many opportunities for growth, I’m particularly pleased to be representing you as president over the coming year. I invite your involvement and support.