Dedication to the College's future brought hundreds of alumni and parents to campus Sept. 22-25 for a Volunteer Leadership Summit celebrating the generosity of those who invest time, talent, and financial support.
Keynote speaker Claire Gaudiani, an expert on the history and economics of philanthropy, took a fresh look at America's philanthropic tradition and how citizen-to-citizen generosity drives our economy. She was president of Connecticut College for 13 years, quintupling its endowment and raising its position among top liberal arts colleges. Gettysburg College granted her an honorary degree in 1992.
College trustees hosted concurrent sessions throughout the afternoon that offered information and training in team building, career mentoring, admissions, event planning, fundraising, communications, and programs for BOLD (Burgians of the Last Decade) alumni. Other sessions highlighted the College's distinctive programs and the academic and creative work of students and faculty. Friday evening alumni and parents gathered to celebrate the great work that helped elevate Gettysburg College in the last decade: the Commission on the Future and The Unfinished Work campaign.
In formal remarks Saturday morning, President Janet Morgan Riggs '77 made a distinction between two Gettysburgs, the personal and the public, and shared her vision for the future.
"My vision for Gettysburg College is that we prepare our students to take effective action in their professions and in their communities - action that will have positive impact, action that will make the world a better place," she said.
"What we offer is more than a college degree. It's an experience that transforms young lives and prepares them to have impact....We need to share the news of what makes Gettysburg great. We need to trace the impact, the ripple effect that Gettysburg College has on society. On the nation. On the future," Riggs said.
"One thing I want to stop saying...is that ‘we're fighting above our weight class,'" Riggs added, noting that the College's endowment and annual giving by alumni are less than similarly ranked colleges. "I think you can only fight above your weight class for so long before you start to wear out."
"Support for Gettysburg College -with our time, with our talents, and with our resources - is an investment. It's an investment in our Gettysburg - a place we love - an investment that will assure its good health and vitality into the future. But support for Gettysburg College is also an investment in the world's Gettysburg - an investment in our collective future, in these young people who will change the world.
"Supporting Gettysburg is our charge. Gettysburg is our college and our responsibility."Posted: Sun, 9 Oct 2011