On Saturday, August 23rd, alumni volunteer leaders came together to participate in the 3rd annual Volunteer Leadership Forum. The event, held at Zoellner Arts Center for the first time, was an opportunity to hear from campus leaders, interact with current students, learn about the volunteer programs offered through Lehigh, and build important volunteer and professional skills.
The morning began with a light breakfast and mingling until our campus speakers took the stage. Attendees got to hear an advancement update provided by Joe Kender ’87, Vice President for Advancement, and the latest and greatest in Lehigh sports programs from Joe Sterrett, Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Pat Farrell, spoke about the Mountaintop experience as well as Lehigh’s community partnership with South Side Bethlehem. Last but certainly not least, John Smeaton, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, painted a picture of life at Lehigh today for the several generations of alumni in the audience.
Following the speakers, attendees were able to browse a showcase of Lehigh volunteer programs including affinity groups, regional clubs, alumni admissions outreach, class leadership and more. Alumni chatted and reminisced over lunch before heading to a panel of Mountaintop students who spoke about their experience and current projects. Many attendees reported this as the highlight of the day, one in particular stating,
“The experience they are having is absolutely worth supporting with my time and donations. Their stories are compelling, exciting and inspiring.”
The students were a hard act to follow but the enthusiasm continued into the afternoon with a selection of breakout sessions. Attendees were able to choose a topic of interest to them ranging from how to best plan your alumni event to conversing with your classmates about giving back to Lehigh in a personally meaningful way. To conclude the day, the attendees received a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the new volunteer tool which was created to assist alumni volunteers with personal outreach. Many alumni stayed around after the forum to welcome the class of 2018 at the First-Year Student Rally!