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A Letter from Krishna Nadella - March 2017

President of the Graduate School Alumni Society

To the Penn State Graduate School Community, a very warm and welcome salutation as we kick off 2017! With the new year upon us, it’s a time to reflect back on the year that was, and more importantly, a time to focus on the year ahead. 

If you’re like me, one of the things I always like to think about with the start of each and every new year is HOW and WHERE I’m investing my time. Thirteen years ago, I made the decision that the Pennsylvania State University was going to be an important and integral part of my life. In fact, to this very day, I tell people that the three most important things in my life are, “my family, my career and my involvement with Penn State.” As I look back, it’s a decision that I am very proud of, and continue to see the benefits of to this very day.

For example, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to help with the recruitment, development and placement of MBA students through the Smeal MBA Alumni Advisory Board. I have had the privilege of being an active part of “For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students” through the Annual Giving Advisory Council. Through the Penn State Research Foundation, I was able to better understand the intellectual property rights of the University and the people that work for it. Finally, through the Graduate School Alumni Society, I was able to see the idea of our Board become a reality, representing one of the most unique and impactful organizations at Penn State, and in the process, provide a voice for the Graduate School Alumni community. 

Indeed, it has been a wonderful decade-plus of experiences and involvement. With that said, I am also mindful of the fact that in all four of the aforementioned cases, I was incredibly privileged to be chosen to serve as a volunteer leader with those respective organizations, and that not everyone has the opportunity to find themselves in the same position. But there is one organization that does not require a formal review or nomination and is open to any and all Penn State Alumni. For me, it was the first and most important association I became involved with when I graduated in 2004, and in many ways my proudest. 

It is my Life Membership with the Penn State Alumni Association. Unlike any board, council, foundation or society, my Life Membership does not cycle off after a three-year term or through a formal voting process. My membership is for LIFE. At the same time, my membership allows me to demonstrate my pride and commitment as a graduate to the Alumni Association’s mission of service to ‘Dear Old State’.

Having said that, did you know that at present, 34.9 percent of Penn State alumni who hold both graduate and undergraduate degrees (9,035 of 25,874 alumni) are Alumni Association members? However, only 13.6 percent of alumni who hold a graduate degree only (11,018 of 81,259 alumni) are Alumni Association members.

I say this to all of you, as Penn Staters are known for their love of giving back. As you embark on HOW and WHERE you will invest your time in 2017, please do consider membership in the Penn State Alumni Association. It’s membership worth investing in.

For The Glory,
Krishna C. Nadella ’04
President, Graduate School Alumni Society

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