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Rocky Campbell BA ’00: An All-Star Volunteer

Volunteers are vital to the success of Lewis & Clark, and there are many ways alumni can contribute their time and talents. The Chronicle caught up with Rocky Campbell BA ’00, one of the college’s most active volunteers, to learn about his dedication to Lewis & Clark—and his stash of orange and black ties.

What roles have you held as a volunteer?

Over the years, I’ve volunteered in a variety of ways. I was a member of my 10-year reunion organizing team and cochaired our class gift committee. I serve as an event volunteer at many Lewis & Clark events in Southern California and have hosted the Black and Orange party in San Diego since its inception. As a member of the Board of Alumni, I’ve had the opportunity to help coordinate and work on a variety of initiatives and events aimed at deepening connections between and among alumni and the college. I’ve also spent a lot of time with current students, serving as a mentor, participating in Careers for Pioneers, and volunteering to perform mock interviews.

How did you first get involved?

After I graduated, I worked on several projects with my college tennis coach, Gundars Tilmanis, and remained close to the tennis program. One day, he asked me if I would be willing to answer current players’ questions about graduate school and career options, and my involvement has grown from there.

Why do you volunteer?

For me, volunteering is a way of thanking the Lewis & Clark community for all it has given me. I’m so appreciative of my time at Lewis & Clark and the opportunities I had to explore my interests. I recognize that my experience was directly affected by the significant amount of time, money, and effort L&C community members gave. It’s also a lot of fun!

How have you benefited from volunteering?

I’m always inspired when I learn about the paths our alumni have taken and the ones our current students are forging. Our community is filled with such interesting people—I learn something every time I volunteer. Working with current students has also provided me with an opportunity to learn about myself and reflect upon the choices I’ve made—and continue to make.

As anyone who’s seen me at L&C events can affirm, I really do enjoy them. As our former Board of Alumni President Amelia Wilcox BA ’81 will remind you, those who volunteer tend to be happier (and also live longer)!

Could you share a meaningful experience you’ve had as a volunteer?

There are so many! But three specific experiences come to mind. While I was a student, I met Serena Cruz Walsh BA ’89, and she was very helpful to me and supportive of my fellow classmates during an important and busy time in her career. It felt great to be able to give back to current students with Serena during our mutual time on the Board of Alumni.

I met George Allen BA ’11 when he was a first-year student on the tennis team and kept up with him during his time at Lewis & Clark. It was a kick to watch him win his final home match as a senior.

I really love seeing young alumni whom I met as students later volunteering at the college. It’s inspiring to see people like Matt Yelin BA ’11 share their experiences with current students through career panels and other events like Careers for Pioneers.

What excites you about the college’s current direction?

There are a lot of great things happening at L&C at the moment, but I’m probably most excited by the new entrepreneurship initiative. I love how it provides students of all majors an opportunity to develop skills they will need to turn their liberal arts education and passions into reality. The overwhelming number of applications to the inaugural Venture Competition was amazing to see and a testimony to the hard work of everyone involved.

Your school spirit is legendary. For example, we heard a rumor that you helped outfit our president, Barry Glassner, in orange and black when he first joined the college. Could you explain?

I do my best to wear orange and black to events I attend at Lewis & Clark. At one of the first events I attended with Barry, he commented on my orange and black tie and how he was having difficulty finding them. So for his inauguration, I brought him three orange and black ties. About a year later, we were at another event and it came to my attention that he didn’t have enough variety, so we had to remedy that. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though—he’s not the only person at the college I’ve outfitted with an orange and black tie.

What advice would you give to those thinking about volunteering?

Stop thinking and do it! It really is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things that I do.

Learn more on the Alumni and Parent Programs site.

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