Alumni Service chair, Aly Jeddy ’92, opened the meeting. Alumni Council president Lou Spelios ’95 provided background and the history of the formation of the committee. For background, the Alumni Council spoke to Interim Dean of the Tucker Foundation Theresa Ellis ’97 and looked at peer institutions. In addition, there were discussions conducted throughout campus-wide organizations which found that there are disjointed efforts of service amongst alumni. Additionally, there is a need for a service source where information could be supported centrally.
Aly talked about the idea of a theme that the committee would organize around, such as access to education. The committee also would need successes and achievements in first year. The committee agreed that a Day of Service was a good start, and longer term they might want to consider what defines "service;” how can they offer service opportunities to students; etc. The committee agreed that a Day of Service would have to be communicated broadly, but driven at the regional, class, and other alumni-structure level. It was agreed that the committee would design a "hub" that would serve to connect alumni to opportunities in the service space. They would be involved in developing the purpose and specs of the hub. They agreed that student involvement would be the "icing" to the effort. They also agreed that recent grads are incredibly valuable, they are interested in service, and we need to show them the way.
Interim Dean of the Tucker Foundation, Theresa Ellis ’97, offered some good insights that included:
- Several companies build portals for organizations
- Students are hungry to find jobs in that sector and find those alums
- Organizing huge groups of people for a day of service can be challenging
Theresa posed a question to the committee: What do you want this to do: mobilize alums, or make an impact on an issue? What’s the problem you are hoping to solve?
First: Make it easier with alumni seeking to provide service and increase number (facilitation and enablement).
Second: Add to the mix a reputational benefit for Dartmouth. A few good stories emerge, that would be fantastic.
Third: Pick up students or others, great (the “icing”).
The committee considered an ambitious goal, proposed by Theresa, Dartmouth wants to donate 1 million hours of service. Not just a day, but through many resources. We estimated that of our 76,000 alums that would equal 13 hours a year, approximately one hour a month. It was noted that the Tucker Foundation could connect us with national groups with local reps in the area of access to education, for example: Teach for America, United Way, etc.
The committee agreed on the following:
- Need a "quick win" and that would be a Day of Service in the spring.
- Use the alumni structures (clubs, classes, Women of Dartmouth, etc.) to communicate and mobilize alumni for the Day of Service.
- Create a service hub.
- Could propose a theme for people to convene around.
- Use the Day of Service for learning.
- Break out into subcommittees to focus on the above areas.