Volunteers help to shape the University of Rochester in a variety of ways. Over the past year, our volunteers have hosted events, advocated for philanthropic support of the University and its Medical Center, served on leadership committees, and much more. Learn more about ways the work of our volunteers helps make the University ever better below.

Meliora Weekend

Our signature annual tradition – combining family weekend, reunions, and homecoming – includes hundreds of events, thousands of attendees, and countless opportunities for volunteers to make an impact. Reunion volunteers play important roles, through thoughtfully planned events, in bringing their classmates back to the University of Rochester to reconnect, rediscover, and reminisce.

Open Doors Program at the Simon Business School

Initially developed by the Simon Business School Alumni Network of Washington, D.C., 25 volunteers drive this program, helping MBA students broaden their networks through leads and personal connections. Open Doors Program volunteers also participate in speed networking sessions, offering feedback and advice to current students.

Young Alumni Council Prince Street Event

Connecting our most recent graduates with the University’s rich history, this unique event was conceived and planned by Rochester Young Alumni Council member Alvin Lomibao '09, '13 (MS). Led by University Vice President, Senior Advisor to the President, and University Dean Paul Burgett '68E, '76E (PhD), and John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian Melissa Mead, more than 50 alumni and friends, took a trip back in time to the University’s former home on Prince Street.

Clothesline Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery

An annual celebration of local and regional New York State art, the Clothesline Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery relied on the talents of more than 450 volunteers this past year to coordinate two days of live entertainment, favorite food vendors, creative workshops, and special events.

Summer Send-Offs

This past year, parents of current students in 16 cities across the country opened their homes to welcome incoming students and families to the University community this past year. Providing the opportunity for our newest Yellowjackets to connect with alumni and one another, the success of these annual send-off events relies on the generosity of parent volunteers.

Supporting the Wilmot Cancer Institute

This annual gala, benefitting the Wilmot Cancer Institute, celebrates progress in immunotherapy research and its impact on cancer treatment. After initially bonding over battling both Hodgkin’s lymphoma and breast cancer, volunteer co-chairs Kathy Landers ’82 and Janice Linehan (pictured center) helped raise over $690,000 for the Immunotherapy Program at this year’s event.

Student Giving

Every year, students help shape the University of Rochester’s future by giving back to the most meaningful part of their University experience. Through volunteer groups like the Senior Class Council and Senior Giving Committee, students educate their classmates on the importance of philanthropy. This year, the Class of 2017 surpassed all goals and set a new record for the Senior Giving Campaign with 58.6% of seniors participating!

Philanthropy Ambassadors

Emphasizing the importance of donor and volunteer support within their communities, these volunteers share personal connections, providing opportunities to demonstrate the importance of philanthropy in achieving the University of Rochester’s mission.

George Eastman Circle Councils

George Eastman Circle Leadership Councils are led by volunteers who actively strengthen the Circle’s presence throughout our Regional Networks and speak to the power of philanthropy in action. More than 80 Council members promote annual giving to the University and its Medical Center, and serve as examples of the philanthropy and leadership that makes the University of Rochester ever better.

Day of Giving

More than 1,400 donors came together on the University’s third annual Day of Giving to raise more than $1.3 million dollars in 24 hours. Much of this success can be attributed to the countless volunteers who shared their stories of philanthropic impact on social media outlets. Supporting departments, programs, and initiatives across the University and its Medical Center, the Day of Giving ensures the University’s continued impact on countless lives, our community, and the world.

Real Readers Program

With more than 150 current volunteers, the Real Readers Program helps current students sharpen their communication skills and learn to present their best professional selves. Beginning in the Hajim School of Applied Sciences & Engineering, the program now utilizes volunteers across the academic disciplines to provide critical feedback to students to refine and revise their written and spoken work. Last year, more than 400 students connected with a Real Readers Program volunteer.

Regional Networks

Officially launched in 2016, the University of Rochester Regional Networks connect our alumni, parents, and friends through events, communications and personal outreach. More than 150 volunteers across the world are leading the charge, as members of the first Network Leadership Cabinets, dedicated to bringing the University of Rochester to your doorstep. 

Diversity Advisory Council

This dedicated group of volunteers, established in May 2017, will provide leadership and guidance on University initiatives to foster diversity across campuses and our alumni community.


Horizons Advisory Council

Horizons at Warner, hosted on the University of Rochester’s River Campus, is a summer enrichment program for 150 low-income, K-8 students from the Rochester City School District. Aided by the generous support and guidance of volunteers on the program’s Advisory Council, Horizons prevents summer decline in school performance, develops social and interpersonal skills, and encourages participation in extracurricular activities to build confidence.

New York Metro Women

Founded and led by volunteers, the New York Metro Women’s group has amassed more than 700 members on LinkedIn. The group’s steering committee organizes events and programming that brings together alumnae across generations, fostering solidarity among all University of Rochester women in the New York metro area.

Class of 2016 Instagram Takeover

To keep classmates connected to each other and the University, a different member of the Class of 2016 “takes over” their Instagram account each week to share what they’ve been up to since their days on campus. Kelsey Tuttle '16 (pictured bottom row, center) has led the charge in sharing how she lives, works, and plays in her new home.

Reunion at Eastman School of Music

The incredible connections forged as students motivated volunteers from the Class of 1976 to organize their own 40th reunion celebration and commemorative recital. Their personal outreach and enthusiasm resulted in 30 former students returning to their roots on Gibbs Street.

School of Medicine and Dentistry Alumni Council

The Alumni Council is the administrative body representing all School of Medicine and Dentistry alumni, advising the Dean and supporting the faculty, administration, students, and alumni. The Council also helped establish the Student Ambassador Program in 2017, an opportunity that currently provides 10 students with training about the role of advancement, as well as chances to interact with alumni and join our gift officers on fundraising visits.

Regional Facebook Pages

Online communities make it easier than ever for alumni, parents, and friends to connect with their Regional Networks. Social volunteers share news on local events and activities, recruit for the latest volunteer opportunities, and help raise money for University programs. This expansive Facebook presence keeps the University of Rochester within reach for individuals across the country and around the world. Find a Regional Network group near you »

Global Day of Service

Global Day of Service invites University of Rochester alumni, parents, and friends to make a difference in their local communities through a variety of service opportunities. Led by Rochester volunteers, hundreds of participants were recruited to more than 16 service sites across the country for the 2017 inaugural initiative. Through creating and coordinating their own projects, volunteer leaders spark change in their own backyards and continue a University tradition of giving back.