When Karen and Michael Haley sent their son,
John ‘07, to Wesleyan in 2004, they were anxious to learn more about the
community in which he would be spending the next four years.
That year, they attended an Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend. They not
only became informed, they became involved.
“We were so impressed that weekend with how cordially we were welcomed and
made to feel a part of the Wesleyan community, that we decided to become
parent volunteers,” Michael Haley says. “Our son is our one and only and it
has always been our pleasure to participate in his activities.”
The Haleys will return to campus Sept. 23-24 to attend another Alumni and
Parent Volunteer Weekend. They are among more than 100 registered for the
“Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend is designed to better inform both new
and experienced volunteers about all the exciting things that are happening
here, and give us a chance to thank our volunteers for the time and talents
they give to Wesleyan,” says Gemma Ebstein, director of Alumni and Parent
During the course of the weekend, volunteers have the option of attending
Wesleyan Annual Fund (WAF) and other Alumni Association meetings, as well as
special programs with Wesleyan President Doug Bennet, Vice President for
University Relations Barbara Jan Wilson and Board of Trustees chairman Jim
Dresser ’63. Jack Mitchell ’61, CEO and chairman of Mitchells of Westport,
Conn. and Richards of Greenwich, Conn. and author of Hug Your Customers, The
Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, is this
year’s keynote speaker.
Two special classes, “Parent Volunteering 101” and “Electronic Tools and
Resources for Alumni and Parent Volunteers” will be offered. In addition,
attendees will receive a tour of the new Fauver Residence Halls.
Since attending the first volunteer weekend, the Haleys have twice assisted
at WESeminars; volunteered for Spring and Fall calling; spoke at two
WestFest Parent-To-Parent Seminars; volunteered at a swimming championship,
and twice volunteered to assist with moving-in day. This year they will
become members of the WESeminar Committee and the Executive Committee of the
“Since my son so much enjoys being on campus with his friends, he only comes
home for school holidays, so being on campus gives us an excuse to
occasionally have lunch or dinner with him,” Karen Haley says. “More
importantly, we also get to meet other parents whose students are facing the
same experiences and challenges as John and have the opportunity to exchange
practical information and ideas with them.”
The Wesleyan Annual Fund National Committee, WESeminar Committee, Parents
Council Executive Committee, Nominating Subcommittee, Alumni Association
Executive Committee, and several 2006 Reunion Committees will hold meeting
during the weekend.
Wesleyan has approximately 3,401 active volunteers and always welcomes more.
Makaela Kingsley ’98, associate director of Alumni Relations, urges guests
who have never volunteered to attend this event. She guarantees they’ll
leave with a volunteer assignment.
“Some volunteers help with a single event or project a year, while others
chair a club or committee and give their time to Wesleyan every week,”
Kingsley says. “But each and every one of them is important. They are the
nuts and bolts behind planning events, raising funds and building Wesleyan’s
The weekend is free of charge and financial assistance is available to help
with travel and accommodations for those who need it. Volunteers are welcome
to bring guests, spouses and children.
Shuttles will be available to transport guests between campus and the Inn at
Middletown, where several of the sessions will take place, throughout the
For more information or to register for Alumni and Parent Volunteer Weekend,
contact Kingsley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-685-3836, or Camille
Dolansky, assistant director of Parent Programs at email@example.com or