Alumnae Alliance Council Nominations

The Sweet Briar College Alumnae Alliance, formed by the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors on Sept. 26, 2015, as the new paradigm of alumnae engagement to operationalize the “Sweet Briar Effect” by engaging the time, talent, interests and passion of alumnae in service to the College and its alumnae, needs volunteers to serve on its governing Council and on working groups in the roles described below. Alumnae Alliance volunteers provide professional expertise in service to the College and thus are recruited for “skills and fit” to increase the impact of their volunteer service (similar to Doctors without Borders, lawyers working pro bono, etc.).

All Sweet Briar College alumnae and holders of honorary degrees, and those who completed at least one semester of coursework, are members of the Alumnae Alliance and may nominate themselves or any other member of the Alumnae Alliance for these positions:

Alumnae Alliance Council Co-chairs and 5-6 additional volunteers to serve on the Strategic Initiatives-Governance Working Group

  • These alumnae work closely with the Alumnae Alliance Strategic Initiatives Co-chairs to carry out efforts that support the creation and operationalization of a potentially larger working group that helps shape and refine recommendations for strategy, governance and operations of the Alumnae Alliance Council. These alumnae may be asked to advise on, develop and/or document different Alumnae Alliance processes and standard operating procedures (SOPs); self-service templates and forms; and tools, training and information to support how other current and future working groups can improve operations and communications. These alumnae are required to sign the SBC volunteer agreement, as they will often work with sensitive alumnae data.
  • Expected volunteer time commitment is up to 10-15 hours per week through December 2017 (or longer depending on working group evolution); much of the work is done via teleconferences and email. Additional hours may be required during peak efforts. Some travel will be expected to meet with College staff in person on campus. Note: Travel expenses are usually donated to the College as a gift-in-kind.

Other desired criteria include:

  • A variety of experiences and expertise in strategy development, organizational behavior and dynamics, transformational change management and communications, strategic planning, operational execution and/or continuous improvement
  • Executive leadership and/or experience serving on a board of a nonprofit organization or in a corporate leadership position
  • Ability to carry out planning and lead/facilitate meetings with a working group of volunteers as needed
  • Capability as a “bridge builder” across alumnae class decades, etc.
  • Coordinate different constituencies and talent to influence key stakeholder groups to “get things done”

To nominate yourself or a fellow alumna for one of these positions, please click here.

Alumnae Alliance Council Co-chair for the Clubs Working Group

  • This alumna works closely with the College’s Office of Alumnae Relations and Development (AR&D) and different alumnae clubs to advise on the design, planning and coordination of various College-sponsored initiatives such as back-to-school events (late July/early August every year); Sweet Briar Days (late December/early January every year); and fundraising events such as online auctions, Talbots Day of Shopping, etc. Work can range from helping to shape strategic directions to assisting with operational execution, including development of training materials, drafting of communications messaging, data analysis for planning, etc. The alumna helps co-chair and regularly convene and communicate with a working group of alumnae volunteers who serve as part of a club’s leadership team. This alumna is required to sign the SBC volunteer agreement, as the alumna often works with sensitive alumnae data.
  • Expected volunteer time commitment is up to 5-10 hours per week through July 2019; much of the work is done via teleconferences and email. More hours may be required during peak club activity periods. Some travel will be expected to meet with College AR&D staff in person on campus. Note: Travel expenses are usually donated to the College as a gift-in-kind.

Other desired criteria include:

  • 5+ years nonprofit or community organizing experience
  • Executive leadership and/or experience serving on a board of a nonprofit organization
  • Ability and commitment to organize and lead a working group of volunteers, in close coordination with the College’s AR&D staff

To nominate yourself or a fellow alumna for one of these positions, please click here.

Alumnae Alliance Council Co-chair for the Alumnae Admissions Ambassadors Working Group

  • This alumna works closely with the College’s AR&D and admissions staff to help plan and execute the Alumnae Admissions Ambassadors program. Alumnae Admissions Ambassadors help cover 150+ college fairs and contact thousands of prospective students to allow Sweet Briar College to demonstrate a personal touch for recruiting each incoming class of remarkable Sweet Briar women. Work can range from advising on strategic directions and supporting operational execution, including carrying out development of training materials, drafting of communications messaging, data analysis for planning, etc. The alumna helps co-chair and regularly convene and communicate to a working group of alumnae volunteers serving as part of Alumnae Admissions Ambassadors leadership teams in different states and major cities/metropolitan regions. This alumna is required to sign the SBC volunteer agreement, as the alumna often works with sensitive alumnae data.
  • Expected volunteer time commitment is up to 10-15 hours per week through July 2019; much of the work is done via teleconferences and email. More hours may be required during peak fall (Sept.-Nov.) and spring prospective student (Feb.-April) recruiting activity periods. Some travel will be expected to meet with College AR&D and admissions staff in person on campus. Note: Travel expenses are usually donated to the College as a gift-in-kind.

Other desired criteria include:

  • 5+ years nonprofit or community organizing experience
  • Strong interest and/or prior experience in college student recruiting and retention, or related experience in enrollment management, career counseling or the “college tours and decision process” for high school students
  • Executive leadership and/or experience serving on a board of a nonprofit organization
  • Ability and commitment to organize and lead a working group of volunteers, in close coordination with the College’s AR&D and admissions staff

To nominate yourself or a fellow alumna for one of these positions, please click here.

Alumnae Alliance Council Co-chair for The Network Working Group

  • This alumna works closely with the College’s AR&D and career services staff to help plan and execute a program that helps the College bolster its career services offerings to students and alumnae. These efforts might include encouraging alumnae to identify and post jobs and internships for students and alumnae on Alumnifire, and organizing lunch-and-learn sessions to talk with students, parents and alumnae about career networking. Work can range from advising on strategic directions and supporting operational execution, including development of training materials, drafting of communications messaging, data analysis for planning, recruiting alumnae speakers for career services panels or practice interviews, and potentially designing and piloting a Lifelong Learning capability (e.g., web-based offerings and/or on-campus short courses) that could cover a wide variety of possible continuing education opportunities. This alumna helps co-chair and regularly convene and communicate to a working group of alumnae volunteers. This alumna is required to sign the SBC volunteer agreement, as the alumna often works with sensitive alumnae data.
  • Expected volunteer time commitment is up to 5-10 hours per week through July 2019; much of the work is done via teleconferences and email. In addition, some travel will be expected to meet with College AR&D and career services staff in person on campus. Note: Travel expenses are usually donated to the College as a gift-in-kind.

Other desired criteria include:

  • 5+ years nonprofit or community organizing experience
  • Strong interest and/or prior experience with educational technology and adult education/training
  • Executive leadership and/or experience serving on a board of a nonprofit organization
  • Ability and commitment to organize and lead a working group of volunteers, in close coordination with the College’s AR&D and career services staff

To nominate yourself or a fellow alumna for one of these positions, please click here.

Alumnae Alliance Council Co-chairs for the Media, Marketing and Communications (MMC) Working Group: 2 Social Media Co-chairs and 2 Traditional Media Co-chairs

  • The MMC Working Group is evolving to reflect that we need to (a) strengthen our approach to alumnae-driven social media communications (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and (b) continue to support alumnae-related traditional media (SBC Magazine, BriarWire newsletter, email quick updates). The Council anticipates a lot of operational work for these co-chairs, including close collaboration on a weekly or biweekly basis with Clélie Steckel and Claire Dennison Griffith of AR&D and staff of MMC to assist with getting college messaging out to alumnae communications channels, particularly as President Woo’s fall tour commences. Work could range from advising on strategic direction of messaging to supporting operational execution, including development of training materials for alumnae unfamiliar with various forms of social media, drafting of communications, and editing and writing articles for traditional media published by the College. The Council also anticipates that this expanded working group will organize and host its own weekly or biweekly teleconference calls (separate from the Alumnae Alliance Council teleconference calls) to divide up the workload and regularly report back to the Council on progress.
  • Expected volunteer time commitment is up to 10-15 hours per week through July 2019; much of the work is done via teleconferences and email. In addition, some travel will be expected to meet with College AR&D and MMC staff in person on campus. Note: Travel expenses are usually donated to the College as a gift-in-kind.

Other desired criteria include:

  • 5+ years nonprofit or community organizing experience
  • Strong interest and/or prior experience with social media messaging and engagement strategies
  • Strong interest and/or prior experience with editing and writing for newspapers, newsletters, magazines and other traditional media
  • Executive leadership and/or experience serving on a board of a nonprofit organization
  • Ability and commitment to organize and lead a working group of volunteers, in close coordination with the College’s AR&D and MMC staff

To nominate yourself or a fellow alumna for one of these positions, please click here.

Interim Process To Be Used in Filling These Positions

The initial Alumnae Alliance Council was formed in Sept. 2015 by the Chair of the Alumnae Committee of the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors to govern the Alumnae Alliance for day-to-day operations. The Council, headed by two co-chairs, currently consists of 15 alumnae co-chairing seven Working Groups. The Council works closely with the College’s Office of Alumnae Relations and Development (AR&D) to design and execute programs and services of interest to alumnae.

The Alumnae Alliance Council is committed to expanding engagement of alumnae across decades, classes, geographic regions, majors, areas of interest and career paths. To that end, the Council has been using an ongoing flexible process for identifying alumnae who can serve as leaders on the Council and to assist with leading major focused initiatives on working groups as opportunities arise. Until the new Strategic Initiatives-Governance Working Group completes its anticipated work to review, evaluate and codify the governance principles and processes for the Alumnae Alliance, the Council will use the following interim process for filling these positions:

  1. The Council will solicit nominees in multiple media forums from among the 14,000+ members of the Alumnae Alliance for alumnae volunteers who might be interested and well qualified to serve in each position. Nominations will be open for one month, beginning Sept. 7, 2017.
  2. The Council will vet nominees with strong nomination support to confirm willingness to serve (including willingness to sign and uphold the guiding principles and expectations articulated in the SBC Volunteer Agreement) and an understanding of the time commitment required. “Nomination support” can include a significant number of write-in recommendations together with a résumé or short biographical statement identifying relevant skills, experience and capabilities.
  3. The Council will consult on top-identified candidates with College staff who work most closely with the particular volunteer area, e.g., AR&D, admissions, career services, MMC, etc. The Council will select the candidates with the best skills and fit for each position. In addition, all nominations will be considered and used to help identify volunteers to serve in various working groups, even if the volunteer is not selected to serve in the position for which nominations were solicited. The intent is to use the volunteer submission forms to build out working groups and engagement on an ongoing basis. In addition, working groups are intended to allow alumnae to explore areas of interest, build leadership experience over time, and serve Sweet Briar during this rebuilding process.
  4. The Council will contact and confirm new alumnae volunteers as quickly as possible, ideally within two weeks after the nominations period closes, and provide onboarding training about the Alumnae Alliance, Council operations, the AA Council-AR&D Partnership Principles, and other expectations. Volunteers will be asked to complete and sign the SBC Volunteer Agreement.
  5. The new Strategic Initiatives-Governance Working Group will be tasked with addressing subjects such as length and terms of service of Council and working group members. In the interim, as both the College and the Alumnae Alliance operate under this new paradigm of alumnae engagement, members serve as long as they are able and willing.

The Council welcomes feedback on the interim process for nomination of volunteers, and notes that the new Strategic Initiatives-Governance Working Group will be tasked with reviewing and developing the processes and procedures to be used going forward. In addition, all such processes and procedures will be subject to continuous evaluation and refinement as the Council accumulates more experience and recruits more volunteers.