Bennington’s alumni and parent volunteers support the College in a dynamic range of ways: Some participate in formal volunteer programs, while others share their time and talents informally, working on short-term activities or a single event. Below, we’ve outlined a number of different volunteer opportunities. Please contact Marie Leahy, Director of Alumni Relations, or the Alumni Cooperative Steering Committee to discuss the opportunities that best suit your interests.
The Admissions staff aims to attract the most engaged, creative, and unique students to Bennington College, and alumni and parents can support their efforts in the following ways:
- Share admissions materials with counselors at local independent or public high schools or with prospective students. Email us to request Bennington’s most recent admissions packet;
- Talk up Bennington to high school students, parents, and grandparents as well as your friends, coworkers, and acquaintances;
- Meet a counselor traveling in your region. Admissions counselors regularly travel throughout the country, and the international admissions staff meets with students and secondary schools in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Email Admissions if you would like to meet with a counselor.
Time commitment: Varies depending on level of involvement.
Contact Admissions if you would like to be involved as a volunteer or have other ideas or questions.
The Alumni Cooperative is a revitalized alumni structure that deepens the ways in which alumni are involved in the life of the College. In addition to the regional programs that have been established over the past year and half in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, OR, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC, the College, in partnership with the Steering Committees, are developing opportunities for results-oriented Task Forces that focus on specific areas of interest in Field Work Term, Admissions, Marketing, and Fundraising. The Task Forces are not meant to be fixed and permanent. We plan to build in the flexibility to add more as needed and to retire ones that are no longer needed.
All alumni are encouraged to share their work, invite others to see their work, help to organize gatherings and outings, and participate in a variety of programs. We have developed a long list of program ideas, but hope that these are built and executed in partnership with you.
Please fill out this form to indicate your interest in being involved
Field Work Term (formerly NRT)
Through seven-week full-time work experiences during Field Work Term (FWT), students gain confidence and practical knowledge in their chosen fields. Alumni and parents have provided FWT positions, connections for students, or housing throughout the College's 80-year history.
If you might be interested in working with a Bennington student, please read the Information for FWT Employers and fill out the FWT Job Listing form. Many students need housing near their FWT sites each year. If you or someone you know is willing to host a student during FWT, please complete this form. Here are some things to think about when offering housing. If you have other inexpensive, short-term housing recommendations, please let us know.
Bennington's bed and breakfast program offers one- to two-night complimentary accommodations to a student or young alumni going on a job interview or graduate school visit. Please complete this form if you can offer accommodations.
The Office of Institutional Advancement welcomes involvement in seeking alumni and parent support for The Bennington Fund, the fund that annually supports all aspects of the College. Participation is a critical benchmark for foundations as they consider making grants to the College and all gifts are a signal of confidence in Bennington's approach to a liberal arts education. Each academic year, more than a third of the College’s expenses will be covered by private philanthropy from alumnae/i, parents, and friends, past and present.
Alumni and parents are compelling advocates for the College, making peer solicitations an effective way to seek gifts. As a Bennington Fund volunteer you:
- Choose to make a gift to The Bennington Fund each year;
- Encourage friends to give by posting and tweeting online appeals and videos;
- Work closely with annual giving staff to help contact alumni from the years around your class or your fellow parents; and
- Provide additional creative ways to encourage alumni giving.
Time commitment: Approximately 5 hours in the fall, and 5 hours in the spring, depending on number of donors the volunteer is contacting.
Please contact Cindy Luce, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, for more information on the Bennington Fund Alumni Volunteer program.
Events help to foster the connections between alumni and with the College. Bennington hosts a number of small and large events in major metropolitan cities for social gatherings and to showcase faculty, alumni, or staff presentations/performances throughout the year. The Alumni Relations Office also supports alumni who wish to self-organize events in their region. The following are just a few of the ways volunteers can be involved:
- College-organized events in major metropolitan areas: assist with programming ideas, suggest venues, encourage attendance among alumni, or serve on a host committee;
- Alumni-organized regional gatherings: coordinate a cocktail party at a bar or restaurant; gather alumni to see a performance or discussion; host a potluck dinner or brunch at your home. The College can provide email lists and name tags, and, depending on timing and location, send a Bennington faculty or staff member to attend the event to provide updates from campus; and
- Provide a venue to gather alumni, parents, and students to talk with prospective students and their families.
Time commitment: Depending on the event and partnership with the College, volunteers may spend between 3–10 hours planning and coordinating a gathering.
Please contact Marie Leahy, Director of Alumni Relations, for further information or to plan a regional event.