The current academic and professional interest in the philanthropic activities of women in the United States might lead one to think that our engagement with charity is a new concept. In fact, we have been sharing our expertise, time, and treasure with our communities and favorite organizations for centuries.
We have historically worked to address poverty and social welfare, the care of children and families, sanitation and medicine, healthcare, the environment, and education. What is new is the growing realization that women are a powerful force for getting.things.done. Women are shaping the world, including Allegheny, as never before through our increased social and political capital, networking, and financial resources. Allegheny is — and has long been — the grateful recipient of women’s beneficence. Alumnae give of their time as class agents, mentors, recruiters, Alumni Council members, trustees and more. In fact, 65 percent of our 1,300-plus active volunteers are women. The Spring 2017 issue of The Ella Nash Society newsletter highlighted alumnae service to Allegheny and provided several options for readers’ engagement through Gator Connect, the College’s online community, where students and alumni connect with the College and one another. (read Supporting Through Service for details.) Alumnae also give generously of their financial resources, as evidenced in scholarships, professorships, internships, buildings, program funds, and the annual operating budget. Gift amounts and service levels vary with time and individual means, yet all advance the College.
Women are shaping the world, including Allegheny, as never before through our increased social and political capital, networking, and financial resources.
One of the most popular ways that alumnae combine gifts of time and treasure is, like Rachel Dingman, through their service on class reunion committees. Hundreds of alumnae maintain lifelong friendships that sprouted in residence halls, sororities, clubs, and sports. These women are natural partners for the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. They connect with classmates and friends, encourage attendance, and help plan the reunion activities. Many assist with the fundraising for class gifts in addition to making their own contributions.
Sally Barrett Hanley ’92, Director of Reunion Giving, reports that an average of $4.5 million is raised annually by volunteers and staff as a result of class reunion programming. Classes celebrating their 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, and 50th reunions include fundraising for class gifts as part of their volunteer work. Gifts of all sizes and types, including bequests, are welcome, and they support all aspects of the College’s mission. “The success of our reunions is directly linked to the energy and enthusiasm of our dedicated volunteers,” Sally notes. “It is wonderful to see yesterday’s students keeping the Allegheny experience alive for those who follow them.”
For more information about becoming involved in your next class reunion, call Sally at (814)332-2996 or write firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also log in to Gator Connect to view and sign up for current volunteer opportunities for alumni.