About Oberlin College EnviroAlums (Charter)

Founding Committee:
Corinne Alexander ’94, Peter Kirsch ’79, Eric Davidson ’78, Carl McDaniel ’64, Karen Florini ’79, John Peterson ’88,  Elizabeth Frazier ’36, John Shordike ’78

Oberlin Environmental Education Alumni Association (EnviroAlums)

Oberlin is noted for being a community where unconventional ideas are tolerated and mainstream conventions are questioned. The wisdom of Oberlin may be in its capacity for enabling unconventional ideas to find expression in actions and deeds. We believe Oberlin is in a unique position to focus higher education on the central question of the twenty-first century: How shall we create durable patterns of habitation in our diverse, global culture?

Over the past three decades Oberlin has nurtured an environmental education agenda that under the leadership of first David Egloff followed by Harlen Wilson and then David Orr has gained prominence on campus and beyond. The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies and its associated programs embody an unconventional idea: “All education is environmental education.” We believe the Oberlin community has a unique opportunity to set a standard for environmental education, as well as a responsibility to seize this opportunity.

As alumni/ae who have concerns about environmental issues like biodiversity loss, climate change, consumption, equity, pollution, population, and social justice, we have formed an alumni affiliate group to assist with, and to advocate for, environmental education within the Oberlin community. Although the nature and extent of this assistance and advocacy will emerge as the EnviroAlums becomes functional, we envision providing advisory input, encouraging and supporting environmental educational venues on and off campus, encouraging and nurturing support from all elements of the Oberlin community, and raising funds for environmental education.

Membership is open to any alumnus/a of Oberlin who wishes to support environmental education in the Oberlin community. We will strive to seek a membership that reflects the diversity within Oberlin’s alumni body.

An initial mailing will be made in March 2002 to all environmental studies graduates, to the Alumni Association list of supporters of environmental studies, and to the Environmental Studies Program list of supporters. Members of the Founding Committee will also seek input from the Alumni Association’s Executive Board and others to provide additional names of persons who will also receive this initial mailing. We will work to achieve a broad distribution of the mailing to encourage participation in the development of EnviroAlums from diverse alumni. The mailing will include: 1) this charter, 2) a terse assessment of environmental education at Oberlin and the unique opportunity Oberlin has, 3) a preliminary listing of things the EnviroAlums might do, and 4) a form to be returned to the Alumni Office by those who wish to join the EnviroAlums.

Carl McDaniel ’64 has coordinated the formation of the EnviroAlums with input from the Founding Committee. He will work first with the Founding Committee and then with the Steering Committee to coordinate EnviroAlums functions until officers have been selected and administrative procedures have been established.

The Founding Committee will create from itself and from the persons who join in response to the initial mailing a Steering Committee that will reflect Oberlin’s diverse alumni population and principles of inclusion and social justice. The Steering Committee will meet in Oberlin during the fall 2002 Alumni Council Weekend to establish the administrative organization for the EnviroAlums and to propose the activities of the EnviroAlums for the next year.

EnviroAlum Bylaws

  1. The activities of EnviroAlums will be the responsibility of the Steering Committee (SC).
    • The SC shall be made up of 12 to 18 members of EnviroAlums, organized into three groups with one group being replaced each year. Two of these SC members shall be current Oberlin students.
    • The initial SC shall be composed of those attending the organizational meeting on September 21, 2002 in Oberlin even if that number exceeds 18. This SC shall be divided into three groups with one group serving one year, a second group serving two years, and a third group serving three years. Group designation will be by choice or by drawing names from a hat, if required.
    • Any member of EnviroAlums may volunteer to be on the SC.
    • From the list of SC volunteers, the standing SC members shall select the SC members for the next three-year terms. Each SC member may cast the number of votes equal to the number of open positions on the SC if there are more than 6 volunteers.
    • The SC shall meet at least once each year in Oberlin.
    • Selection of SC members shall be made about two months before the annual SC meeting in Oberlin.
  2. The EnviroAlums shall have a chair and a vice chair.
    • They shall be elected by majority vote of the SC at the annual meeting of the SC.
    • They shall serve for one-year terms and may be elected for consecutive terms.
    • They shall be responsible for coordinating EnviroAlum activities and running the annual meeting.
    • The chair shall be the represent the EnviroAlums at the Oberlin Alumni Council.
  3. Annual suggested dues for EnviroAlums shall be $20.00.
  4. Authorization of expenses.
    • The Chair and Vice Chair each has the authority to authorize routine expenses defined as less than $500.00.
    • The SC shall be consulted and approve majors expenses defined as those exceeding $500.00.
  5. These By Laws of EnviroAlums may be changed at any time by a majority vote of the SC.


Approved unanimously by SC
20 September 2002.