Welcome to Alumni & Corporate Relations
9th Weekly Message from Dean, International & Alumni Relations: May 27, 2014

Dear Alumnus/ Alumna,

My apologies for not posting my message last week. We were vacationing in Ooty, and while the climate was heavenly, net connectivity wasn’t! I have just prepared a piece to be included in the Director’s Report on “Convocation Day”, and I’ll reproduce parts of it here:

2013-14 has been a watershed year in terms of alumni & international relations. With the Dean’s Office in effect for its first full year, positive results are starting to show. A key focus of the Office of I & AR on the alumni front has been to maximize two-way connectivity between the Institute and her alumni. Out of about 40,000 alumni who have graduated from IITM, more than 21,000 are registered on the database, with the percentage exceeding 80% among recent batches. While e-mail communications have been maintained, social media are increasingly being leveraged. The Office has built a strong presence in LinkedIn. Facebook, a student-run blog site– “Chennai 36”, and a mobile app to provide database access and IITM information, are new initiatives gathering momentum. An “Annual Giving Report”, a quarterly e-magazine, a monthly Newsletter, and attractive websites provide additional interfaces to the alumni community. Two major alumni conclaves happen on campus every year—“Reunion Day” in December, and “Alumni Day” in July. Department-wise PG reunions were started in 2014, with Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering taking the lead. Chapter meetings in India and abroad are regularly attended by the Director, Deans and faculty. The weekly “Leadership Lecture Series” featuring alumni continues to draw crowds on Friday evenings. The first “Nobel Laureate Lecture” featuring Prof. Kurt Wuthrich, and the first “Institute Lecture” featuring Prof. CNR Rao—both alumni-sponsored—took place in early 2014. Alumni footfall on campus continues to be significant, with involvement ranging from entrepreneurship initiatives to industry connects.

Fund-raising approached Rs. 12 crores for the 2nd year in a row, with the number of new donors exceeding 300 for the first time ever. Ground-breaking for the new “Biosciences II” building, funded by the Mehta Family Foundation (Houston, TX), took place on Sep 6th, 2013, continuing a long-standing relationship between the Foundation and IITM. Two external Trusts were created to fund student scholarships and travel needs. The “Student Satellite Project” drew significant alumni contributions, as did the “Center for Innovation”. The Class Room Complex was air-conditioned with sponsorship from the ’77 batch, while the Silver Reunion batches of ’87 and ’88 decided to allocate their contributions to the “Alumni Endowment Fund”. The “Innovation Fund”, started by alumni in the Silicon Valley to provide start-up support to IITM students and faculty, has attracted $ 600K since its inception in 2012. Deployment of funds continues to be performed efficiently, with a large number of on-campus beneficiaries. The “Travel Grant” program alone has funded more than 200 students and 20 faculty in 2013-14.

For 2014-15, a target of Rs. 25 crores has been established, with a long-term goal of building a Rs. 500 crore corpus by 2020. The focus in fund-raising has shifted from being project-based to institutional and societal-impact based. Target donors now include non-alumni as well as corporates and Foundations. From being a purely voluntary effort, fund-raising is now evolving to a semi-professional activity with the addition of Development staff in India, and the prospect of a Development Office in the U.S. A “Strategic Plan 2020” has been drawn up for I & AR, in alignment with the Institute’s. Non-Governmental contributions have been linked to the “aspirations” of IITM, and fund-raising is being segmented along 7 major axes— campus infrastructure, education, research, internationalization, innovation/ entrepreneurship, sustainability, and social impact.