Alumni Association

EnviroAlums Charter and Bylaws

About Oberlin College EnviroAlums (Charter)

Founding Committee:

Corinne Alexander, ’94; Peter Kirsch, ’79; Eric Davidson, ’78; Carl McDaniel, ’64; Karen Florini, ’79; John Petersen, ’88; Elizabeth Frazier, ’36; John Shordike, ’78


Oberlin Environmental Education Alumni Association (EnviroAlums)



We believe Oberlin is in a unique position to focus higher education on the central question of the twenty-first century: How shall we foster sustainability and resilience in our diverse, global culture, particularly in light of the unprecedented changes associated with climate disruption?

We believe the Oberlin community has a unique opportunity to set a standard for environmental education and action, as well as a responsibility to seize this opportunity.


As alumni who have concerns about environmental issues such as climate change, consumption, equity, pollution, biodiversity, and social justice, we have formed an alumni affiliate group to assist with, and to advocate for, environmental education and action within the Oberlin community. The nature and extent of this assistance and advocacy continues to develop as EnviroAlums evolves.  We are committed to: (1) providing encouraging and supporting environmental education on and off campus; (2) supporting action on and off campus that enhances sustainability and resilience; and (3) raising funds for environmental education and advocacy.


Membership is open to any alum, and current or past faculty or staff member of Oberlin, who wishes to support environmental education and advocacy in the Oberlin community. We seek to include at least two current Oberlin students as members of the Steering Committee.  We will strive to achieve a membership that reflects the diversity of Oberlin’s alumni.

In collaboration with the Environmental Studies Program (ENVS) and the Oberlin Alumni Office, we will periodically recruit current students and alumni to join EnviroAlums and its Steering Committee. This outreach will include a link to the EnviroAlums website, which houses this charter, a membership form, and information about the ongoing activities of EnviroAlums delivered through various media.


General Organization

The activities of EnviroAlums will be the responsibility of a Steering Committee (SC). The SC is organized as follows:

  • The SC shall be made up of 12 to 18 members of EnviroAlums, organized so that approximately 1/3 of the group may rotate off the SC each year. Two SC members shall be current Oberlin students.
  • SC alumni members serve 3-year terms. SC student members serve until they graduate or up to 1 year from the time of their election, whichever occurs first. All SC members may serve multiple terms, if confirmed by the Membership and Nominations Subcommittee and the SC.
  • At any time, any member of EnviroAlums may volunteer and/or be nominated to serve on the SC. The Membership and Nominations Subcommittee will review and nominate new members.
  • Selection of additional SC members shall be made on an as needed basis to maintain committee size necessary for conducting its business and to welcome new, interested members. SC members shall, by majority vote, elect new SC members based on nominations made by the Membership and Nominations Committee.
  • The full SC shall meet at least twice each year, either in Oberlin or virtually.
  • To ensure meaningful involvement in the work of the SC, participation in meetings, on standing subcommittees, or on ad hoc committees is expected of all SC members. Lack of participation in two or more consecutive meetings will require a meeting with the SC Chair to assess future participation in the SC. Our SC and subcommittee Chairs will make every possible effort to accommodate all of our busy schedules.
  • Membership in EnviroAlums does not require dues. However, members and supporters are encouraged to contribute generously to the EnviroAlums endowment and operating funds, and other fundraising efforts to ensure the ongoing support of the On-Campus Intern, the Fellowship program, Oberlin’s Environmental Studies Program, and other activities.


The EnviroAlums Steering Committee shall have a Chair and a Vice Chair.

  • They shall be elected annually by majority vote of the SC during the Spring meeting of the SC.
  • They shall serve for one-year terms and may be elected for as many as 3 consecutive terms, with agreement from the Membership and Nominating Subcommittee, and a vote of the majority of the SC.
  • They shall be responsible for coordinating EnviroAlums activities and leading SC meetings.
  • The Chair or its designee shall be the representative of the EnviroAlums on the Alumni Leadership Council whenever that opportunity presents itself.
  • The Vice Chair will lead meetings in the absence of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall also participate fully in assisting the Chair with coordinating EnviroAlums activities. The Vice Chair will serve on the SC finance subcommittee. They will also be generally counted on to assume the role of chair at the conclusion of the current chair’s elected term.

Authorization of expenses

  • The Chair and Vice Chair each has the authority to authorize routine EnviroAlums expenses of $500.00 or less when time is of essence.
  • The SC shall be consulted, and must vote to approve, expenses exceeding $500.00.


There shall be the following Standing Subcommittees, each with a Chairperson:

Membership and Nominations Subcommittee will focus on recruiting, engaging and managing EnviroAlums membership, as well as encouraging the nomination of new Steering Committee members.  Before the expiration of a member’s term, the Subcommittee will ask them about whether they are interested in continuing to serve.  Continuation for a full or partial term will be established by mutual agreement of the member and the subcommittee.

Fellowship Subcommittee will publicize annually the summer Fellowship applications, as soon after the end of January term as possible. Subcommittee members will assist with reviewing applications and other work of the Subcommittee. They will recommend fellows to the SC at the Spring meeting, with a proposed budget for the fellows’ support.

Communications Subcommittee will be responsible for the routine sharing of information with the membership and broader Oberlin community. Specific duties include:

  • Compiling minutes during each Steering Committee meeting, distributing these minutes to the SC for additions and corrections, and summarizing these minutes for forwarding to the general EnviroAlums membership and posting on social media.
  • Writing a short article on a topic of interest that will be included in the annual Environmental Studies newsletter (typically due in April). 
  • Developing the EnviroAlums Annual Report each Fall from the above materials and other noteworthy events of the year. 
  • Organizing EnviroAlums fundraising campaigns in coordination with College staff.
  • Coordinating the promotion of EnviroAlums through social media and other methods, in cooperation with the working intern (see description below) and other on-campus student groups. 
  • Engaging in activities that promote Oberlin College’s environmental commitments, initiatives and other activities that demonstrate institutional leadership.

Finance Subcommittee will be tasked with creating an annual budget and setting fundraising goals. Subcommittee is composed of the Chair, Vice Chair, immediate preceding Chair, and other interested SC members.

Ad hoc subcommittees will be formed as needed, to perform specific tasks, and will be disbanded when their work is completed. Such subcommittees will propose and generate additional programs and activities in keeping with the purpose of EnviroAlums.

Student Fellow

We recognize the importance of having a consistent presence on campus for our work. Therefore, during each semester of the academic year, we shall employ at least one EnviroAlums On-Campus Fellow. The Fellow will be recruited and generally supervised by a member of the ENVS faculty. The Fellow will coordinate their work closely with the SC Chair and the Chairperson of the Communications Subcommittee. Key functions of the position include:  

  • Membership management: The Fellow will assist EnviroAlums in managing, growing and activating its membership base. This includes encouraging and assisting alums in participating in existing Career Development alumni resource systems including OberLink, LinkedIn and Handshake.
  • Campus communication: The fellow will organize and promote opportunities and activities that EnviroAlums sponsors among Oberlin students. In particular, the Fellow will play a key role in coordinating Careers in the Environment Event events. The fellow will likewise help to promote EnviroAlums fellowship opportunities.
  • Membership communication: In coordination with the Communications Subcommittee, the Fellow will produce and edit brief emails that keep EnviroAlum membership apprised of sustainability-related initiatives and activities occurring on campus. This likewise includes posting to EnviroAlums social media groups.

Fellowship Programs/Grants

The EnviroAlums Fellowship Program offers grants for field-related study and internships.

  • EnviroAlums Fellowships support Oberlin students who are seeking to gain real-world experience in environmental organizations and businesses, and to develop professional skills and contacts. EnviroAlums strives to support the preparation of Oberlin students for satisfying and productive careers in environmental and sustainability-focused fields after graduation. We believe that hands-on work is an important part of preparation for such employment. Thus, the Fellowship provides talented Oberlin students of all backgrounds and from any Oberlin academic department, opportunities to hone their professional skills.
  • Information and application for the Fellowships are on the Oberlin EnviroAlums website.

Revision of Bylaws

These Bylaws may be changed at any time by a majority vote of the SC.  Any SC member may suggest a bylaws revision to the Chair.  At the Chair’s discretion, a subcommittee may be formed to make a presentation and recommendation to the SC for its consideration.


Approved by the EnviroAlums SC, March 26, 2022.
Approved by Alumni Leadership Council (ALC), (TBA)