Volunteer Opportunities for Alumni and Families
More than 40,000 Denison University alumni and family members are connected through our love of the college and the relationships forged on The Hill.
There are lots of ways to stay connected and support Denison, and here are four key ways to get started.
Listed below are several additional impactful opportunities for alumni and families to get involved. Sign up for these opportunities or to learn more.
For alumni and family members
Alumni, parents, and family members, please assist with recruiting highly talented students who will forever change their lives at Denison. Ambassadors represent Denison at local college fairs, interview students both in-person and virtually, and contact admitted students and their parents to offer congratulations and be a source of information. We use an Ambassador Portal to ensure the ease of assignments and communication, and to provide necessary resources. We could not reach our goals year after year without the help of this amazing group!
Time commitment: As desired — as little as a few minutes to make a phone call or as much as an evening to work at a local college fair.
Benefits: You’ll enjoy knowing you helped grow the Denison family!
Alumni Council is an advisory body representing the Society of the Alumni. Members are either elected or appointed by their respective constituent organizations.
The Council meets on campus each October and April in conjunction with the meetings of Denison’s Board of Trustees.
Time Commitment: Two on-campus meetings per year. Some additional committee work outside of meeting times.
Benefits: Represent the alumni body and share your feedback with Denison staff. Get to know Denison administrators and what life is like on campus today.
Alumni Affinity and Identity Groups
Affinity and Identity Groups offer alumni of shared interests and common bonds opportunities to connect on meaningful levels beyond the traditional Class Reunions and regional event structure. These groups actively support the college through student recruitment, career mentoring, fundraising, community service, social activities, and more. The Affinity and Identity Group program is administered through Denison’s Office of Alumni & Family Engagement.
Time commitment: As desired —you can help with planning events, supporting students, fundraising, communications, or anything in between.
Benefits: Stay connected with fellow Denisonians through shared interests and experiences.
Family Leadership Council
For parents and family members of current students and young alumni
The mission of the Family Leadership Council (FLC) is to build a strong and engaged connection between Denison families, their personal philanthropy, and campus programs that impact our students’ campus experiences. Leadership donors serve as informed advocates and liaisons, encouraging parent involvement as professional resources and engaged members of the Denison community.
Council member responsibilities and expectations include:
- Make an annual Leadership Gift, commensurate with your ability, towards the Parents Fund for the current fiscal year, while working in relationship with a major gift officer to meet your family’s philanthropic goals.
- Attend the Family Leadership Council Meetings:
- Fall Semester Meeting: The Friday of Big Red Weekend
- Spring Semester Meeting: The end of February or early March
- Commit to engage with fellow parents in one or more of the following ways:
- Contact and engage with 6 to 10 fellow parents during the academic year regarding their support of the Annual Fund. Our goal is to reach these parents with a personal email from a fellow parent and follow-up interactions with a personal note of thanks.
- Host a reception/cultivation event in your home or community in coordination with Senior Development Officer Susan Leithauser.
- Offer support to programs such as the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, the Admission Office, or another area of interest to you and others as opportunities arise.
- Be supportive, positive advocates of Denison and the college’s processes.
Time commitment: At least one weekend per year in addition to participation as an event host, parent contact or career program support.
Benefits: You will help build a stronger college experience for your student, as well as increasing the value of a Denison education. In addition, you’ll meet other Denison parents who are equally committed to creating exceptional experiences for students.
Knowlton Center: Career Development & Support for Alumni & Students
For alumni and family members
Alumni and family members are an essential part of the Denison network and can make a real difference in a Denison student’s life. If you are interested in helping Denison students as they explore career opportunities, here are some ways to get involved. Learn more about the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration.
- Be a Knowlton Connect Contributor — Volunteers can help the Knowlton Center broaden its reach of influence to students by contributing valuable content and resources via the Knowlton Connect platform. The Guest Contributor Portal on Knowlton Connect allows alumni, parents, and friends of Denison to post announcements, events, resources, jobs, internships, and blog posts. This integrates the voice of alumni and parents directly into the Knowlton Center’s content. Alumni are welcome to share stories about your own career journey, industry advice, resources, and general career guidance.
- Offer a Job Shadow Experience — Alumni and parents willing to spend a day or half day with students to help them test career interests are encouraged to offer a job shadow opportunity.
- Offer an internship or a full-time position — Interested in providing an internship for a student or posting a full-time position for students or recent graduates? Email Ryan Brechbill, Director of Alumni & Employer Relations at email@example.com.
- Join Denison LinkedIn — the official group of Denison University. Open to all students, current or former parents, alumni, faculty and staff of Denison University for career networking, job research and social networking. Current or prior affiliation with Denison University is required and will be verified.
- Families of Current Denison Students: To keep informed about the opportunities available through the Knowlton Center, sign up for the Knowlton Note newsletter, sent weekly to students. Sign up for the Knowlton Note.
- Follow the Knowlton Center on Facebook and Instagram or check out our blog.
Time commitment: As desired.
Benefits: You’ll help a student or recent graduate build a strong career network!
Annual Fund Ambassadors
Love Denison? Help spread the word about Annual Fund fundraising initiatives throughout your network and community to support the school, students, faculty, and beyond. Annual Fund ambassadors can serve from anywhere in the world in many ways, including:
- 1831 Day
- Day of Giving
- Denison DASH Virtual 5K
- Fundraising Reunion Committee
- Sharing content on personal social media accounts to encourage participation
- Outreach to other Alumni to encourage participation through phone, text, and email
- Share personal stories from your time on The Hill
- Be an advocate!
All ambassadors will receive a toolkit with all the content needed — just use your network, and you are set!
Time commitment: As much as you desire — you decide how much time you can dedicate to be a volunteer and which project you would like to serve on.
Benefits: Playing a direct role in supporting students, faculty, and the future of Denison; all ambassadors will receive a special thank you for their role in making annual fund fundraising a success.
Consider this fact: Tuition at Denison covers only about 65 percent of what it actually costs to educate a Denison student. The Annual Fund helps to make up the difference.
President Adam Weinberg puts it this way: “The Annual Fund is one of the ways that Denison alumni and other supporters of the university help fund the gap between tuition and what it takes to give people a life-shaping education.”
It’s where student internships, extracurricular clubs, and interdisciplinary programs get funded. It’s where professors with new ideas to bring into the classroom and students dealing with unexpected emergencies go for help.
To learn more about the Annual Fund and the impact of your support for Denison University, please visit support.denison.edu.
Have Questions? Contact Amanda Morrison, firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-587-5773.
Denison Everywhere Volunteers
It’s one night each year when Denison alumni, family, and friends gather to celebrate our college and one another in cities across the country and around the globe. Alumni, families, and friends in 80+ locations participate annually.
Denison Everywhere volunteers will serve as local experts and hosts for their Denison Everywhere gathering, partnering with the Office of Alumni & Family Engagement to secure a venue, invite local alumni, and host an incredible event.
Being a member of your Class Reunion Committee is a great way to reconnect with your classmates!
The basic role includes contacting classmates and inviting them to Reunion events, as well as acting as a Denison advocate throughout the year. We also ask all alumni to support Denison with a contribution to the Reunion Class Gift and encourage their classmates to do the same in celebration of their Reunion year.
The primary responsibilities of Reunion volunteers include contacting at least 15 to 20 classmates to ask them to participate in class fundraising efforts and to make plans to attend their Reunion.
In addition, Reunion Volunteers communicate regularly with one another and with Denison’s offices of Alumni & Family Engagement and the Annual Fund.
Time commitment: Participation on your Class Reunion Committee will run from September to June. We hope you will find time to join us at our annual Volunteer Summit in the fall to help plan for Reunion. Class Reunions are celebrated on the weekend following Memorial Day each year.
Benefits: An opportunity to get in touch with old friends — and make some new ones! And you’ll be filled with pride during the Alumni Convocation event in Swasey Chapel, where each class’s participation is highlighted.
Regional Event Volunteers
For alumni and family members
Around the globe, special events take place that give Denisonians of all ages opportunities to connect with one another beyond the Hill. Alumni and family volunteers work together in small groups within their regions to plan social gatherings, networking events, arts and cultural programs, and more.
Our regional events are open to all Denisonians — alumni and friends, parents of current students and graduates, and current and former faculty and staff members.
Time commitment: Time needed to plan and execute an event. We’ll support you through every step of the process.
Benefits: Enjoy the company of fellow Denisonians, increase your network, and have some fun.
Volunteers Inspiring Philanthropy
The VIP program is a peer-to-peer outreach effort for Denison’s most loyal alumni. This volunteer program serves to strengthen alumni engagement, so loyal donors are inspired to stay involved and contribute leadership-level gifts to the college. Leadership giving, which consists of gifts of $1,000 or more, makes up approximately 75 percent of Annual Fund revenue.
Volunteers are responsible for raising awareness about Denison’s profile and emphasizing President Weinberg’s charge to strengthen alumni engagement. We ask VIPs to educate fellow alumni about the importance of philanthropy and encourage their interest in leadership giving.
Time Commitment: Conduct 15 to 20 focused alumni calls quarterly. Assignments are made by the Annual Fund and based on a strategy designed to include engagement, solicitation, and stewardship. Assist with Annual Fund outreach, sending handwritten notes after calling and/or meeting with your alumni contacts to thank them for their support. Initial training is provided in person or by phone. We host conference calls throughout the year to keep volunteers apprised of the latest happenings at the college and additional volunteer tips.
Benefits: Keep in contact with your Denison friends while helping to strengthen the college.
More Ways to Get Involved
For alumni and family members
Here are even more ideas for how you can make a stay connected to Denison.
From volunteering your time to raising the college’s visibility, everything you do can make a positive difference for Denison.
- Follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Use #OnTheHill or #DenisonU when posting about Denison on your own social media.
- Keep track of your classmates through your class page on Facebook.
- Download the official Denison App to follow all the latest news from the Hill.
- Contribute stories or updates that could appear in the Denison Magazine or in the alumni newsletter.