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Alumni volunteer spotlight
s undergraduates, Jeffrey Anderson ’93 and Michelle Miller Anderson ’92 were very much involved in campus life. After they graduated and took up residence in Boston, they wanted to continue their relationship with the College.
An admissions tour guide while a student, Jeff stayed connected by becoming an alumni admissions contact, interviewing Boston-area Skidmore applicants and reporting back to the admissions office. He and Michelle also represented Skidmore at numerous college fairs, where they greeted prospective students and told them about all that Skidmore has to offer.
Meanwhile, Michelle attended local alumni club events and became a Skidmore representative to the Boston Alumni Club, a consortium of young alumni from several colleges. After a few years as a rep, she became president of BAC, a role that included attending the Skidmore club’s planning sessions led by then-president George Constant ’86. In 1998, when Constant stepped down to become the alumni board’s chair of regional clubs, he strongly recommended the Andersons as his successors, and the duo accepted the position as club co-presidents. “We knew we could lead the club successfully as a team,” they say.
Their work with the Boston club has afforded the Andersons the opportunity to stay connected with Skidmore while also reaching out to Boston-area alumni, parents, and friends of the College. In fact, by offering programs that appeal to a diverse audience (from a Boston Pops concert to a Charles River cruise to a pub party), they’ve considerably increased alumni turnout at Boston club events. Both say they’ve enjoyed working with fellow alumni volunteers, meeting other alumni from all eras, and taking part in the varied academic, cultural, and social events sponsored by the club.
Sharing the club presidency between them helped the Andersons fit volunteering into their busy schedules—Michelle is a lead teacher for the kindergarten and pre-K programs of the Chelsea public schools and is studying for a master’s degree in education with principal’s certification, while Jeff is a securities trader at Fidelity Investments and is taking classes in preparation for studies toward the M.B.A. For them, club events are great ways to have fun and spend time together. And each spring they watch for their invitation to Skidmore’s Leadership Council, a weekend of gatherings and workshops for all alumni volunteers. “Volunteering is a great way to stay involved with Skidmore,” they say, “and it’s fun to go back and visit campus.”
The Andersons will be stepping down as club co-presidents when Jeff begins his term as chair of admissions on the alumni board. Besides, they say, it’s time to let some “new blood” into the Boston club leadership. But they vow they’ll never lose their connection to Skidmore. “The College won’t let us go too far!” —SG