|Alumni Volunteer Summit a Success
The inaugural Volunteer Summit, held April 8-10, was an opportunity for alumni volunteers to exchange ideas, to participate in practical training sessions, and to be recognized for the crucial part they play in advancing the mission of the Institute.
Overall, there were 113 participants in the conference, including alumni leaders, faculty, staff, and students. Several alumni participants had not been involved with Rensselaer since graduation, and many had not been back to campus in a number of years. Doug Larson ’74 came all the way from California to participate, and enjoyed seeing the changes that have taken place as he toured the campus and Troy.
The purpose of the Volunteer Summit was to provide information to volunteers, and to strengthen their connection to the Institute. Participants were offered training and assistance in their current areas of volunteer work, and opportunities to explore new areas of involvement. In addition, a resource room offered job descriptions of campus volunteer opportunities, reference material about Rensselaer, and the chance to meet with representatives from various campus organizations who are seeking new volunteers.
Several campus and alumni leaders participated as speakers. Alumni had the opportunity to meet President Jackson, who delivered the keynote address on Friday night. Other guest speakers included David Haviland ’64, Vice President for Student Life Eddie Ade Knowles, and a faculty panel with Robert Linhardt, Jim Hendler, and Lois Peters, which was moderated by Wolf von Maltzahn.
Another special feature of the weekend was the Traditions kiosk, created by the Red & White Student Organization. Alumni were offered opportunities to submit materials for the Traditions wiki page, be interviewed on camera about Rensselaer traditions that they remember, and test their knowledge and win prizes at the Traditions Trivia Wheel.
The Office of Alumni Relations responded to numerous requests for virtual participation opportunities by video streaming several of the sessions live. “I'm very happy to see that some of the sessions will be available via webcast it will make the summit available to alumni who can’t get to Troy for the weekend. Great job!” wrote Lauren (Curcio) Thomas ’01.
An additional benefit to the weekend for alumni participants was the opportunity to meet and network with fellow alumni. One attendee commented that it was a chance to “expand their contact base and make new friends.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the RPI Alumni Volunteer Summit. Not only did I learn about some of the wonderful initiatives the school has established for alumni to connect with students and get involved with organizations throughout the Rensselaer community, I also met many great alumni and had a lot of fun. I’m already planning to get involved with a few of the programs that I discovered at the summit,” said David Gertler ’83.
The Volunteer Summit is just one part of the reinvigorated alumni volunteer program in the Office of Alumni Relations. If you work with volunteers and would like to find out how your alumni can take advantage of the services offered through the program, contact Elisabeth Cain at email@example.com or (518) 276-4923.
For links to photos, presentation materials, and session videos, and to view the archived faculty presentations, visit alumni.rpi.edu/volunteersummit.