Frequently Asked Questions

Cambridge Society FAQs

Read our President's Message online or find out more about us online or via our membership outreach campaign. Our Equal Opportunity Policy is found here. Additional information can be found below or by contacting us. 

Q: How do I get in touch with the Society?

 

To discuss membership or general questions, please contact us.

If you want to discuss or volunteer for events, please contact a member of our current board or one of our event organizers.

Q: I am not getting the monthly newsletter. What do I do?

 

There are around 2000 known alumni in the area, but we have e-mail addresses for only around 1600 of them. If you are not on our mailing list, we want to get in touch with you! To sign up for the newsletter, please contact us

Q: I attended a program at Cambridge, but did not graduate from the University. Can I still join the Society?

  We welcome anyone with a formal and provable connection to the University. To discuss membership, please contact us.

Q: I want to attend Cambridge. Can I come to events to learn about the University?

  Unfortunately no, because our Society is strictly for those who have already been formally connected with Cambridge. We would otherwise be inundated with people who have general questions. To learn about studying at Cambridge, please check out this University website, or Cambridge in America, which are much better equipped to help you.

Q: What does membership require?

  Nothing – there are no dues or service requirements. You will receive a monthly newsletter, and you are welcome to attend events. We also encourage you to inquire about volunteering opportunities. (There is absolutely no pressure, however, and you won't be put on a "list" or anything.) To discuss membership, please contact us.

Q: I am worried about attending the First Thursday Drinks. What if I can't find the group?

  You needn't have any worries. The Willard staff is aware of us and where we are. Plus, the officers invariably alert the front desk and the Round Robin Bar staff that we are there. We meet in Peacock Alley, which is the long hall which runs from the beautiful main lobby to the back entrance. In winter, people often wear Cambridge scarves. In summer, cufflinks and ties are a good indicator. At every Drinks, however, people keep an eye out for alumni, and we always try to have a crest on the table. Attendees are strongly encouraged to bring a copy of the crest with them. It works like a Bat Signal for other alumni! In all events, don't worry – it's very easy to find us, and we would really like to have you join us!

Q: What's this I hear about a Cambridge-Oxford Boat Race on the Potomac this fall?

  After the huge success of the 2010 race, we are striving to establish the Potomac Boat Race as an annual event, and we are looking for rowers as well as support volunteers! To volunteer, please contact us. The Potomac Boat Race is a revival of a 1990s tradition, and should be an excellent time!

Q: How do I pay for events?

  In almost all cases, events are separate-check. You can therefore order whatever you like, or nothing at all. In instances where reservations are required, you will receive information when you RSVP.

Q: What can I expect when I arrive at an event?

  The First Thursday Drinks are a group of friendly people having a conversation on any number of topics. (For details on where we meet, see above.) For other events, meeting arrangements are either given in the newsletter, or by e-mail when you RSVP. Please keep in mind that we are simply volunteers, and we don't have a lot of paraphernalia to attract attention. In most cases where crowds are expected or where meeting is otherwise expected to be difficult, the organizer will provide a cell phone number for you to call in case you get lost. If you don't use a cell phone, please be sure to alert the organizer so that you can figure out another means of meeting up.

Q: I am interested in running for the Society Board. What do I do?

  Elections are held at the October Drinks, following the Cambridge academic calendar. Early voting by e-mail has also been allowed since the 2009 election. Nominations are usually due by September 1, and announcements will go out in the newsletter for several months prior. (Multiple nominations are welcome, and will be noted on the ballot.) All positions are one-year in tenure, and are always competitively elected. Newcomers are welcome for any position, but it is critical that anyone taking on a position be ready to fulfill a year-long commitment. You need to be ready to attend regular Board meetings, become familiar with procedures, organize events, respond promptly to e-mails, and actively work with others to advance the Society. The time commitment is not large, but regular participation is required. If you want to run simply to get a line on your resume, this is the wrong Board to join. On the other hand, if you are willing to pitch in, you will quickly build a large network of friendly contacts throughout the area, and Cambridge alumni are good contacts to have. To learn more about the Board positions, please contact us

Q: What are the Society's future plans?

  The Society is just concluding a in transitional phase,. In the past three years, we have transformed our outreach and communications, developed closer ties with Cambridge in America, reached out to other local British university alumni groups, established a number of "benchmark" events, set up specialized alumni meetups such as for lawyers and World Bank staff, revived the Potomac Boat Race, incorporated as a 501(c)(3), and otherwise sought to energize and engage local alumni. We are now launching this new online platform to make it even asier for alumni to communicate, and welcome assistance and suggestions on all these fronts. If you would like to learn more or to take part in helping the Society grow, please contact us.