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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership and Service

Volunteering-you receive more than you give

[photo] Darren Hamby is one of several alumni and staff who volunteered to clean a stretch of SR 512 near the PLU campus
Darren Hamby is one of several alumni and staff who volunteered to clean a stretch of SR 512 near the PLU campus. He lives in Seattle and is the director of human resources at ZymoGenetics, a biotechnology research company. He is a volunteer with the Admissions Ambassador program and is a past president of PLUS Business.

By Darren Hamby '87, '92

At the Q Club Banquet this spring I heard Q Club Board President Lee Dawson '72 quote from the late Vice President Emeritus Harvey Neufeld's '54 book of essays "Travelin' With Harv." Harvey wrote, "no institution can afford to employ all the help needed to interpret the significance of its educational services or to secure resources required for its operation. Therefore, our effectiveness as an institution may well depend upon our ability to extend our outreach through the involvement of others. Someone wisely said 'A man is not all of himself, his friends are the rest of him'." At PLU, we have many friends who are the "rest of us."

As the world around us continues to move faster and faster every day, it's often difficult to find enough time to maintain all our commitments. Between work and family responsibilities, there is often little time for any other involvements. Yet a small investment of time in volunteer activities can often reap huge rewards.

Consider, for instance, the impact you make in another person's life as a literacy tutor, as a food bank volunteer, as a career mentor for a college student, or as a youth counselor. Volunteering time for these and many other community activities benefits not only those served, but richly rewards those who take the time to help. The PLU 2000 motto of 'Educating for Lives of Thoughtful Inquiry, Service, Leadership, and Care' speaks directly to the university's commitment to volunteerism and service. Seventy-nine percent of graduating PLU seniors have participated in a community service project during their time on campus.

The Alumni Association offers a variety of volunteer opportunities that benefit both alumni and current students. The Alumni Board's committee structure focuses efforts primarily in two areas-programs and services, and university advancement. Committee efforts include planning the Alumni College and other lifelong learning events; organizing special events, such as Homecoming and Connections activities; targeting events for specific groups of alumni; hosting events and programs for students; and supporting alumni services. University advancement efforts include student recruitment; fund-raising activities, such as the class representative program; recognition programs, such as alumni service awards; alumni communications, including both written and electronic publications; and volunteer recruitment.

There are many opportunities to be involved as a volunteer with the university, whether you live near campus or 3,000 miles away. Your help in recruiting prospective students, organizing alumni events in your area, mentoring a student in your career field, providing an internship, or helping raise funds for The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University: The Next Bold Step, provides an invaluable service to the PLU community and all those who benefit from it. Your efforts not only help the recipients, but also make PLU a stronger place to support you and future graduates.

Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience. I encourage you to consider how you can use your skills and talents to benefit PLU and the community around you. The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations can provide you with a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Darren Hamby is president of the PLU Alumni Association

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