In the fall of 1979, Helen Goetz had the idea of organizing a "council" of alumni to serve as a lead between a college dean and the alumni to promote a strong feeling of a college's administration and it's alumni was born. Helen spearheaded the collection of 25 alumni signatures for the establishment of a Council of the School of Home Economics; prepared the bylaws and a proposed slate of officers. A meeting was held to determine the officers by those who attended. They were: Vivian Bancroft-Swift, president, Beth Martin, vice president, Jackie Bell, treasurer(with no money to allocate), Helen Goetz, secretary and representative to UA Alumni Board. Naomi Reich was urged to be faculty advisor. The official Charter was dated June 7, 1980, signed by Alumni Association President Donald Butler and Director of Alumni Michael J. Harold.
In the fall of 1981, a letter to all home economics alumni(over 10,000) was mailed by the Alumni Association to inform them of the "new" council's organization. About 300 returned the return card indicating that they were willing to become active members.
The first meeting of the '"Home Economics Council of Alumni and Friends" ( original council name) held it's first annual meeting during Homecoming on Saturday, October 24, 1981. Forty-eight people attended the meeting. Members voted to continue the term of office of the interim officers: Vivian Bancroft, President; Ingleby Mitchell, Vice President; Jacqueline Bell, Treasurer.
What do we mean by "Alumni Council?"
Some of our alumni may wonder how a "council" differs from an "alumni club." All of us know about clubs, but in 1980 The University of Arizona Alumni Board organized groups, named councils, as a means to establish a closer relationship between the Association and the deans and faculty of The University. Upon a request signed by 25 alumni of a particular unit, a charter would be issued and the council could appoint a representative to the Alumni Board who had a vote on all Board matters.
The FCR Council (Home Economics) was organized in 1981. Letters were mailed to all known alumni asking for a return of a postcard indicating if they were interested in membership. As with all The University of Arizona alumni organizations, membership is automatic for all former students who either have received a degree or completed at least 30 units of credit at The University of Arizona. The by-laws of the FCR Council give the following purpose:
"The purpose of the Council of Alumni and Friends of the School of Family and Consumer Resources, herein called the Council, is to aid and support the School of Family and Consumer Resources by establishing a means through which the alumni and friends of the School may participate in and be informed of current and projected activities of the School. Members of the Council may be involved in the review and planning of educational programs, and through financial support establish scholarships and other funds for School needs. The members of the Council will be encouraged to serve,as advocates on behalf of the School in the community at large."
When the Agriculture Alumni Council was organized in 1982, seven home economics alumni (including the president-elect) became members of the board of that council. Since that time, no less than three FCR alumni have served on the COA Council, two as presidents and one is a member of the executive committee of that council and another is incoming president for 1995-96.
The close working relationship between the two councils within the College of Agriculture is shovm in the wording of the operating procedures of the by-laws of the two which read (for the FCR Council) "The FCR Council recognizes the logic of the existence of the College of Agriculture Alumni Council and will exert its best efforts to create the highest possible level of harmony and cooperative spirit for these two operations."