June 1, 2009
Dear Signet alumni,
This is to introduce myself as the new President of the Signet Associates, and to express the thanks we owe Kevin McGrath for his dedicated service as President for the last five years. I wanted to share with you our plans for strengthening the connections between our 2,000 alumni to the Signet, and alumni to each other.
Next year, we will celebrate The Signet Society's 140th anniversary of playing a major role in the intellectual, literary, and artistic life of Harvard College. The Signet Society, true to tradition, remains the only place at Harvard where lively conversation among students and faculty over the lunch table is the rule, not the exception.
The Signet has a wonderful group of undergraduate members, as perhaps you know. This is nothing new—except that it is always new, and knowing these people is one of the great pleasures of visiting the Signet. We are pleased that both the undergraduate Commencement Parts—Latin and English—will be delivered this year by members of the Signet. Next year, lunch will be served three days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1pm. I hope you'll find time to come for lunch or Friday afternoon teas. As always, the Signet House can be rented for special occasions. Contact Katharine Urbati, Steward: sigsoc AT fas.harvard.edu or 617.547.0526 for more information.
If we can keep alumni in touch with the Signet we will have gone a long way towards encouraging their support of the Society's ongoing needs. The Society's website, and its Facebook page, will help in this regard. Under the leadership of Nancy Sinsabaugh, an alumni committee is gathering strength. We have joined the Harvard Alumni Association as a Shared Interest Group, which allows us more infrastructural support and the opportunity to learn from and work with other alumni groups.
Some of our proposed initiatives for 2009-10 include:
- Strengthen the relationship with off-campus alumni community by improving social networking and information-sharing options, including website (SignetSociety.org), Facebook, and other technology capabilities
- Create Alumni calendar of events, and/or list-serv to showcase arts events happening in the area
- Organize regional alumni events in Boston, NYC, LA, D.C. and other major alumni hubs
- Co-sponsor regional alumni events, e.g. with Harvardwood and other arts and literary organizations
- Prepare for 140th Anniversary Celebration (April 2010) with regional alumni dinners
- Explore opportunities to collaborate with other Harvard literary and arts alumni groups
- Appoint Signet captains to communicate with alumni from their Signet class
Much of the future health of the Society depends on the alumni; and that begins with us. I hope that you'll continue your commitment to the Society-there are many ways to get involved. For more information on alumni activities, you can email signet AT post.harvard.edu.
I look forward to reporting on our progress in the Fall. I hope you will be in contact with me, and that you will drop in on the Signet whenever it is convenient.
With best wishes,
Thomas Forrest Kelly
Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music
tkelly AT fas.harvard.edu
PS. If you'd like to make a contribution at any time, please send us a check, or donate via our website. Thank you!