Persuasions #6, 1984 Pages 4-5
This is my first message to you as President of the Society and I would like to take this opportunity to send greetings to all of you and to let you know how much I hope to have your confidence and support in the coming months.
The Society is now in its sixth year. We have enjoyed an impressive growth since our modest beginning in 1979 when one hundred people attended the inaugural dinner in New York. On October 9, 1984, the Jane Austen Society of North America had 1,320 members in good standing in 46 states, 8 provinces, and 8 foreign countries; 1,160 live in the United States, 139 in Canada, and 21 abroad. Since October we have enrolled additional members.
Our annual journal, Persuasions,
is now in its sixth volume; we are looking forward to our seventh
annual conference, and we have lent support to St. Nicholas Church in
Steventon since our first meeting. These are respectable
accomplishments for an organization as young as JASNA, but there are
still ways in which the Society can be made stronger. In this
regard, I would like to outline the principal goals that I hope to
accomplish during my term:
1. To open a dialogue on the long-range goals of the Society;
2. To organize a long-term planning group to define the Society's objectives during the next five or ten years;
3. To broaden and increase the participation of members in the Society’s activities;
4. To foster and improve communication between the president and members of the Society;
5. To explore the relationship of regional groups to the Society;
6. To encourage suggestions for special projects appropriate to JASNA;
7. To produce a newsletter for members;
8. To compile a manual of procedures for conference co-ordinators.
I plan to discuss some of these goals in the Society’s newsletter, which will also serve to pass on news of regional and national JASNA activities, “Quips and Quotes,” and whatever else might be of interest to the members.
Our Society will work only as well as we can make it work together. What do you think the Society should be doing five years from now? Ten years from now? Is there a dimension missing from JASNA? Where would you like to fit in with JASNA activities? To accomplish these goals for the Society, I will need your help and co-operation.
There are many ways that members can play a greater role in fulfilling the Society’s purposes of furthering the study and enjoyment of Jane Austen’s works. Let me mention a few. One obvious way is by attending and even taking part in the annual conference. You can also attend regional meetings. Our Editor invites your submissions for possible use in Persuasions, and you can enter the Persuasions Competition. Whether or not you choose to be active, I want you to know that your participation is encouraged, in fact, solicited, and welcomed. Keep in touch with us and send us your ideas for JASNA. We care about what you have to say and will be as responsive as possible to your suggestions. We will also keep in close touch with your regional co-ordinators and board members.
The outgoing and incoming officers of your Society gathered at my house in Wayne on November 3, 1984, for the transition of office. I am sure that I speak for all JASNA members when I thank our outgoing officers for their hard work and devotion: Joseph Costa, president; Diane Heim Levine, membership chairperson, and Jane Kemp, secretary. We also owe a continuing debt of gratitude to Susan Schwartz, our treasurer, who will remain in her position.
I look forward to serving you and working together with as many members of the Society as possible. Let me hear from you.