Chairman Spotlight

LTC Robert Kersey, '57
July 2012

The Citadel Foundation is pleased to recognize Class of 1957 Chairman LTC Robert Kersey, Ret. of Hannahan, S.C. Bob is one of the newest TCF Class Chairman .  The Annual Giving team asked Bob a few questions about his new role. 

What made you decide to become a Class Chairman?
I was asked by my old friend & classmate, Harry van Bergen, the previous Class Chairman, to accept the was time for him "to pass the torch". Since I am the youngest class member (I think) and because I have the time to devote to this task, I accepted the position.

What do you feel in the most rewarding aspect of being a Class Chairman?

Communicating with classmates and widows, and seeing monetary contributions being made.

What are your personal goals to accomplish as a Class Chairman?

Have 80% of the Class of 1957 donate to various activities of The Citadel...and to personally thank each one in writing. I will do my best and hope my classmates will also.

What solicitation techniques are you currently using for your class fundraising effort?
Personal handwritten notes to encourage some who have not donated to donate, handwritten thank you's to each who does donate, telephone calls, some emails, person-to-person chats and the Class Letters through the TCF.

What is something most people don't know about you?
That I traded twice-weekly golf for my model railroading (boxed to sell), love music, love gardening, am a pretty good"Molly Maid" since Betty still works, and that in addition to the 44 years I served Uncle Sam, I also spent 44 years as a Cub, Boy & Explorer Scout & adult leader...culminating as a Wood Badge Course Director (Scoutmaster), then as an Advisor to other WB courses. Also devote some time to church activities - choir & as a Deacon.

LTG W. Michael Steele, USA, Ret., '67
August 2010

The Citadel Foundation is pleased to recognize Class of 1967 Chairman LTG W. Michael Steele, USA, Ret. of Seabrook Island, S.C. Mike has served as a TCF Class Chairman for over two years.  During this time, he has drastically improved class communication and participation.  Recently, Mike has embraced the launch of TCF's new online community, Net Community.  He has successfully tackled NetC and is using it as an effective fundraising tool.  The Annual Giving team asked Mike a few questions about his success as a Class Chairman.  

What made you decide to become a Class Chairman?
My classmate Jay Keenan served as our ’67 class chairman from 1967-2007. He asked me to take over the responsibility after our 40th class reunion in 2007. I had assisted Jay with class fund raising so the transition was easy. I had also retired from the Army and was nearing retirement from industry so I had the time. I always wanted to give back to The Citadel. Assuming the class chairman duties was a good opportunity to increase my interest and contribution to The Citadel.  

What do you feel in the most rewarding aspect of being a Class Chairman?
Being able to reestablish contact with my classmates and assisting them with class networking opportunities. Our class network has matured and provides a means for interacting with classmates, renewing old friendships and communicating within the class to discuss and decide on beneficial ways to contribute to The Citadel.

What are your personal goals to accomplish as a Class Chairman?

There are several…
·        Establish and maintain accurate contact information for members of our Class.
·        Establish and maintain a class network for announcements, events, photos, reunion information, etc., and archive 
       significant class documents. 
·        Keep classmates updated on events at The Citadel via email and letter.
·        Encourage classmates to make annual contributions to the Citadel via our Class Memorial Scholarship, The Citadel Fund, 
       Brigadier Foundation, etc.
·        Achieve an annual classmate Citadel contribution rate of 70%.

How are you utilizing TCF’s new online community, NetC?  
The NetC has become our Class network backbone. It contains our contact information. We no longer have to maintain our own independent class contact information. Using the NetC saves class representatives countless hours previously devoted to maintaining accurate contact information. With NetC that responsibility shifts from class representatives to each classmate. Our contact information has never been more accurate. As Class Chairman, I also use the NetC to send Class email updates. After each of them, NetC provides a list of bad email addresses. Our Class representatives contact those with the bad addresses and get them updated. We have not had more than five bad email addresses from a Class email. The Class seems to have adapted to maintaining their own contact information.

The Class site is also used for Class announcements, photos, archiving Class update letters, providing an accurate contact list of Class representatives, etc. 

What solicitation techniques are you currently using for your class fundraising effort?
We have organized ourselves with Battalion and Company representatives. The Battalion representatives have been granted NetC authority to update contact information. We focus on Class, Battalion and Company classmate contribution percentages. Our objective is 70% participation. We have achieved well over 50% as a class with several Battalions nearing the 70% objective. The Company representatives have been key in encouraging participation…several companies have exceeded 70% participation. During our reunion years, we focus on dollar contributions to our Class Memorial Scholarship. Our independent Class Battalion and Company contribution metrics are updated monthly from the Class contribution report provided by TCF on the chairman’s page. We organize the TCF contribution information by Battalion and Company with individual contributors, contribution percentages, dollar amounts given to The Citadel Fund, Class Memorial Scholarship and other Citadel activities, etc. The Battalion and Company representatives then use this monthly Class status report to focus their efforts. As Class Chairman, I use the NetC Chairman Report function to monitor monthly contributions and send an email thank-you to those making contributions.

You have brought on 110 new NetC users.  What is your strategy for bringing on new users?
Our strategy is to maintain contact with each of our classmates and encourage them to register and maintain their own contact information. When we accepted the NetC as our class network system, we added our independent class contact information to the databases from The Citadel Alumni Association, Citadel Foundation and Brigadier Foundation. The result of consolidating these databases has provided the most accurate Class contact information to date and saved significant time/effort by Class representatives. Many of the 110 new NetC users came from our independent class contact information and the balance from encouraging classmates to register on NetC.

You have 4 Battalion Representatives helping you with NetC.  How do you use these Battalion Reps?  What are their responsibilities?
Along with our 4 Battalion representatives, we have 17 Company representatives. All are volunteers. We ask the Company representatives to stay in contact with their company classmates, encourage their classmates to register with NetC and make contributions to The Citadel, serve as a conduit for Class information and report Classmate serious illnesses and deaths. The Battalion representatives coordinate the efforts of the Company representatives within their Battalions and, when necessary, update classmate NetC contact information. All are asked to solicit ideas to improve our NetC network.

We also have established a Classmate/Family Support Committee with representatives in each Battalion to deal with Classmate serious illnesses and deaths. Their purpose is to support and encourage classmates with serious illnesses, support the families of deceased classmates and coordinate contributions in memory of deceased classmates to our Class Memorial Scholarship.  

How often do you update your class page?   
We update the Class page on NetC as needed but at least every quarter.  Quarterly updates coincide with email and letter updates sent to the Class. 


William E. Jenkinson, '99
October 5, 2009

The Citadel Foundation is pleased to recognize Class of 1999 Chairman Mr. William E. Jenkinson of Mount Pleasant, S.C. Will became a Class Chairman earlier this year, and he has already taken steps to improve communication within his class and build momentum for their Class Reunion Campaign, which will be recognized during the 2009 Homecoming Weekend. The Annual Giving team asked Will a few questions to get to know him a little better.

What made you decide to become a Class Chairman?

I believe that you should give back what has been given to you. The Citadel instilled in me great values that have helped mold me into who I am today. I was honored to be asked and happy to help my beloved institution.

What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of being a Class Chairman?

Being able to connect with my classmates, some of whom I have not spoken to in over 10 years.

What solicitation techniques are you currently using that you feel could benefit other Class Chairmen in their fundraising efforts?

I have started a system of having a representative from each company help me gather updated information on each classmate. My company representatives also help me communicate important information to our classmates about The Citadel and The Citadel Foundation, such as campus happenings, our Class of 1999 Scholarship, and our Class Reunion Campaign initiative.

What are your personal goals to accomplish as Class Chairman?

I would like to raise the participation percentage of classmates who contribute. I realize we are having difficult times in our economy; however, if I can get my classmates to contribute something today, hopefully the habit of giving each year will continue along with how much they give to the Foundation.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I am not only a fourth generation graduate of The Citadel, but my distant cousin, G.E. Haynesworth, fired the first shots of the Civil War when he fired on the Star of the West as a Citadel Cadet on January 9, 1861.