Alumni Column – Class of 2007, Communities Await you

William Gillick '75

Within a few months, your Colgate experience will culminate and you will embark on your next voyage, whether that is an exciting job opportunity, graduate school, or that additional time to “explore unfound opportunities”.

This can be an exciting part of your life as you meet new workers or classmates, acclimate yourself to a new community and hopefully use your Colgate experiences and education to get you off to a successful start or find your new passion. My message today is this: Don’t forget those volunteer experiences you may have had at Colgate or in your hometown. Society today needs people everywhere to get involved to support causes or organizations, which rely on volunteers to support them.

As you settle in possible “unfamiliar territory”, consider offering your time, talent and passion to volunteer for organizations or causes that may be of interest to you. What better way to get to know your new community? The positive impact you can make as a volunteer can be as rewarding as your first job performance review or your first “A” in grad school. Don’t be surprised to find how your new energy and enthusiasm will be so welcomed by the organization.

Many of you have had an opportunity to participate with COVE during your Colgate experience. I was fortunate enough to meet with the Colgate health care volunteers who offer the extra touches for patients who need them most. Additionally, a Colgate student from my area recently received recognition for her advocacy efforts by the national Alzheimer’s Association. These are just a few examples of how one can be successful in volunteer efforts.

It’s simple to get started because the need for volunteers is constantly growing. There are two easy ways to begin: Pick your passion and find the organization that matches; or simply reflect on those volunteers who helped you along in your pre-Gate days such as church groups, athletic organizations or one individual person who made a difference for you. Once you pick this cause, determine how you can find your niche. I personally enjoy seeing kids I coached in their youth performing in high school athletics.

On a practical basis, your volunteer efforts will be acknowledged by your employer, offer great networking opportunities and give you personal satisfaction for making a difference.

Best of luck on your new journey and hopefully you will impact the lives of others along the way with your time and talents.