Rensselaer Volunteer Summit Wrap Up
April 12-14, 2013

All current and future volunteers who are interested in helping the Institute realize the objectives of the ambitious The Rensselaer Plan were invited to the 2012 Volunteer Summit.  Over 130 alumni joined Rensselaer’s President Shirley Ann Jackson, Vice President of Institute Advancement Brenda Wilson Hale, and the Deans, as well as staff and alumni leaders for an insider's view of the state of Institute, and for specialized training seminars for specific volunteer roles.  At the Volunteer Summit, participants learned first-hand from campus leadership about the changes taking place at Rensselaer to accelerate its transformation into a national research university with global reach and global impact, and the critical role alumni volunteers play in making this transformation possible.

The objectives of holding a Volunteer Summit are as numerous as they are rewarding:
The organizers of the Rensselaer Volunteer Program and volunteer managers across campus are taking this opportunity to: 
  • Recognize and thank our volunteer partners
  • Bring campus leaders to you to share new information about Rensselaer
  • Inform you about our reinvigorated volunteer program, and the opportunities services and benefits it will bring to you.
  • Provide helpful training for role-specific skills, and offer tools, guidance, and practices
  • Create professional networking opportunities among all our volunteers
  • Obtain your crucial input into the volunteer process

Volunteer Summit 2012 Schedule of Events

For program descriptions and more details, please click the "Schedule of Events" link at right 

Friday, April 13
12 – 3 p.m.               Special Admissions Volunteer Training Seminar
4 – 6 p.m.                 “Celebration of Support”
5 – 5:45 p.m.            Volunteer Summit Welcome Reception
6 – 8 p.m.                  Dinner with Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
8 – 9 p.m.                  Dean of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Mary Simoni in Concert

Saturday, April 14
8 – 9 a.m.                   Welcome Breakfast with Paul Cosgrave ’72, President, Rensselaer 
                                    Alumni Association
9:15 – 10:15 a.m.     WORKSHOP SESSION I
                                         • How to “Win Donors and Influence People” 
                                         • Greek Alumni Involvement 101
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.    Rensselaer Alumni Association Board Business Meeting
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  WORKSHOP SESSION II 
                                         • The Approach (It’s not just a staircase): A workshop for
                                            Experienced Volunteers
                                         • Social Media Strategy: It’s Visual, It’s Catching and It’s Fun 
                                         • Housing Corporation Workshop: Discussing Fire Safety, Bunk
                                            Loft Standards, Fundraising & More
11:30 a.m. –
       1 p.m.                 Volunteer & Staff Luncheon with Special Guest Institute Trustee Paula 
                                    Simon '68 
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.      Academic Roundtable with the Deans 
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.     WORKSHOP SESSION III 
                                         • Regional Volunteers:  Chapters and the Rensselaer Alumni 
                                            Network (RAN)
                                         • Feedback Session
                                         Admissions Q&A Alumni Panel 
                                         • Revising the Greek Relationship Statement Open Forum 
4:15 p.m.                Wine & Cheese Reception
5 – 7 p.m.               Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Volunteer Summit 2011 

The inaugural Summit, held April 8-10, 2011 in Troy, was also a big success!

Participants were offered training and assistance in their current areas of volunteer work, and opportunities to explore new areas of involvement. In addition to training sessions, a resource room offered job descriptions of campus volunteer opportunities, reference material about Rensselaer, and the chance to meet with representatives from various campus organizations who were seeking new volunteers. An optional Meyers-Briggs session was offered prior to the conference on Friday, as another career tool for participants.

Several campus and alumni leaders participated as speakers during the Summit, including Dr. Jackson, who delivered the keynote address on Friday night. Other guest speakers included David Haviland ’64, Eddie Ade Knowles, and a faculty panel with Robert Linhardt, Jim Hendler, and Lois Peters, which was moderated by Wolf von Maltzahn.

Another special feature of the weekend was the Traditions kiosk, created by the Red & White Student Organization. Alumni were offered opportunities to submit materials for the Traditions wiki page, be interviewed on camera about Rensselaer traditions that they remember, and test their knowledge and win prizes at the Traditions Trivia Wheel.  

The alumni office responded to numerous requests for virtual participation opportunities by video streaming several of the sessions live. (To see the archived presentations, which include the faculty panel and four training sessions, click the links below.)

Watch live streaming video from rpialumni at

The Volunteer Summit is just one part of the alumni volunteer program an additional benefit to the weekend for alumni participants was the opportunity to meet and network with fellow alumni. One attendee commented that it was a chance to “expand their contact base and make new friends.”

If you work with volunteers and would like to find out how your alumni can take advantage of the services offered through the Volunteer Relations Program, contact the Alumni Relations Office at (518) 276-6205 or

If you're interested in volunteering, please fill out the volunteer form here.

"Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer."
- Author Unknown  

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Office of Alumni Relations
Heffner Alumni House
1301 Peoples Avenue
Troy, NY 12180 USA
(518) 276-6205
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