Docent program adds way for alumni to greet, give back

August 22, 2011
By Chris Saunders

A few years ago, budget cuts caused the Alumni Association to lose the greeter at the Park Alumni Center. But Randy Ham ’82, associate executive director of the Alumni Association, says he’s had a solution brewing for about a year.

Earlier this month, Ham started the docents program at the Park Alumni Center. It consists of alumni volunteering

Bill Caldwell '55, Bill Collins '54 and Joyner Brooks '57 volunteer as docents.

Bill Caldwell '55, Bill Collins '54 and Joyner Brooks '57 volunteer as docents.

their time to meet and greet visitors to the building. He says the idea really took shape during reunion weekend for the Class of ’61 in spring. He then approached the Forever Club and says the response has been great.

“Who else but these guys would be a perfect fit for ambassadors?” Ham asks.

Guys like Bill Collins ’54. Working the window and greeting guests, Collins says he feels like he’s giving back and addressing a great need for the Alumni Association. Instead of having guests come in with no one to direct them, he says being there sends the right message to visitors. “It gives a warm feeling,” he says.

Collins and Bill Caldwell ’55 say being a docent offers the chance to stay connected. “When you return, you find what you can do for your school,” Caldwell says. “This was an opportunity to keep up with old friends.”

Ham says docents are now volunteering Tuesday through Friday. But he says the Alumni Association will eventually need 45-60 volunteers to have full coverage, and right now has about a third of that.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign up for half of a day or for a whole day. For more information, contact Ham at (919) 515-0507, or email him at


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