Alumni & Parents
Alumni volunteer opportunities at Reed
Are you interested in volunteering for Reed? There are a variety of opportunities within the alumni & parent relations office, as well as with other offices around the college. Read the descriptions below and then contact the appropriate offices directly. You can also edit your alumni profile in IRIS and update it to include volunteer interests. We look forward to working with you on projects. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Volunteer Honor Roll
From Renn Fayre to the Oral History Project and from curating the biology department's herbarium to mentoring students, Reed benefits from many people (alumni, parents and friends) making it a "habit of the heart." And just like the America that Alexis de Tocqueville observed and analyzed, the community at Reed is strengthened by this service. Counting on- and off-campus efforts, the college benefited from the time, talent and energy of more than 700 alumni and 400 parents and friends. De Tocqueville would be proud of this impressive list of names.
Alumni & parent relations office
Are you willing to help alumni if they're coming to your town-either traveling through or moving to town? You might offer them advice about good places to stay (or offer them a room), suggest where to eat, or anything else you want to recommend. This is a self-managed system dependent on people helping each other out; it doesn't take any specific amount of time, and you might never be called upon, or you might. It all operates through the alumni directory in IRIS, so it only works if your contact information is up to date and visible.
Checking this box lets current students and fellow alumni know that you're willing to talk to them about your career and theirs (e.g., to share advice, ideas, leads, and referrals). To be helpful, you need to fill in your employment information in the alumni directory in IRIS and opt to make it visible. More information.
The alumni board is Reed's national volunteer board whose purpose is to direct the association's goals, programs, and services. The full board meets five times annually and functions through three committees. The board welcomes comments and suggestions for its activities. Board members are selected by the nominating committee, so checking the box on the volunteer profile form will let them know that you're interested and someone from the committee will contact you. The nomination process can be long and drawn out (so you shouldn't expect a fast response), but they will get back to you and we greatly appreciate your interest.
One of the hardest parts of planning alumni events is finding a good location. Either it's too expensive or too impersonal or some of both. Some events work well at a pub or pizza restaurant, but many others do not. We would greatly appreciate it if you can offer a comfortable house, or a space where you work or volunteer, or any venue you can offer or recommend. Check the box in the volunteer profile and we'll get back to you for a description of the space, or you can send email to email@example.com.
There are alumni chapters in nine metro areas: Boston, Chicago, London (serving western Europe), New York, Portland, Rainier (Seattle), Bay Area (San Francisco), Southern California (Los Angeles), and Washington, D.C. Any of those chapter steering committees would love to have your help in planning events. You can contact them directly to volunteer. Their information is on the chapters webpage.
If you don't live in one of those nine areas, and there are lots of alumni who don't, you can plan events for those in your area. Whether it's a Thirsty Third Thursday, Reedies Eat Pizza day, or something entirely unique, the events aren't hard to plan, and it's very satisfying to get together with other Reedies. More details about planning non-chapter events can be found here. Check the box in the profile and we'll get back to you about what you'd like to do and how we can help.
In 1999, the alumni association launched an oral history project to document the recollections of Reed alumni starting with the 1920s. Since then more than 195 individual oral histories have been collected, with a target goal of 275 interviews by 2009. In addition, 55 group interviews or storytelling sessions have been conducted at Reunions and other gatherings. Not only do the group interviews and storytelling sessions contribute to our knowledge of Reed's past, they also help us find good storytellers to interview. All of this takes a lot of volunteer time and energy. Read more about the oral history project (OHP) and potential OHP volunteer activities:
- Interviewing (includes research and preparation, conducting the interview, auditing the interview, an initial edit in conjunction with the narrator, providing a content description)
- Reed Stories screener: provide frontline review of stories submitted to Reed Stories website; includes light editing and categorizing
- Write content descriptions for existing interviews, so they can be catalogued in the special collections library archives
- Review interviews, storytelling sessions and/or Reunions class stories for good anecdotes
- Review group interviews and storytelling sessions for potential narrators
- Transcription and/or auditing of interviews
- Provide rides to OHP participants during Reunions
- Participate in group interviews as a technical assistant, or perhaps as interviewer
If you have questions about the Oral History Project, please email Cynthia Lopez, oral historian.
Reunions class volunteers have four responsibilities that are shared by the entire class committee, which is usually made up of two to five classmates:
- contact classmates to help spread the word about your milestone reunion
- select a class gathering for classmates to enjoy
- write a class-specific paragraph for the website
- select two faculty guests for your Friday class dinner
This committment lasts a year and involves a trip to Reed for Volunteer Weekend at the end of September the year before your class reunion. Time commitment throughout the year depends on how much time you spend contacting classmates.
The admission office loves to have alumni volunteers to interview prospective students and represent Reed at select college fairs. Click here for more info. Coordinator: Crocket Marr '06, assistant dean of admission, 503/777-7711.
The annual fund currently needs volunteers to act as class gift chairs. In this capacity, volunteers encourage classmates to donate to Reed's annual fund through solicitation letters. Coordinator: Lauren Creany, special gifts officer, 503/517-7904.
The Alumni Career Network is a group of Reed alumni who have volunteered to assist current students and other alumni who are interested in exploring career options with professionals in specific fields. In some cities, alumni act as hosts for career preview visits from students. Coordinator: Ron Albertson, director of career services, 503/517-7421.
Students for Education, Empowerment, and Direct Service (SEEDS) is Reed's community service program. SEEDS coordinates one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities for hundreds of members of the Reed community each year, provides education about community and volunteerism, and maintains contact with hundreds of civic and social service organizations in Portland and beyond. Although most of our volunteers work in service to people outside the Reed community (alumni are always welcome to use our referral information), we also are happy to have alumni leading group volunteer events, teaching workshops, advising students on service-learning projects, and hosting student volunteers at work. Coordinator: Fawn Livingston-Gray '95, 503/777-7563.