Retired but still working:
Volunteerism among RIC’s emeriti

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we do, we make a life by what we give.”

Giving is natural for the many RIC emeriti who have retired from campus but haven’t stopped working for the college. Many become donors, while others volunteer their time and expertise.

Lee DeLucia
This year, when the college’s policies and procedures needed updating in time for the 2011 NEASC accreditation visit, Vice President Emerita Lee DeLucia agreed to sort through and organize decades of paperwork on policies.

DeLucia was asked to take on the job because of her administrative experience as associate dean of the school of education, acting dean of the school of education, director of institutional research and planning, and vice president for administration and finance.

“The project was a good match for my skills,” DeLucia said. “During my 42 years at the college, I developed many policies and probably implemented even more.”

Though DeLucia humbly called the job “a little project,” RIC President Carriuolo called it a Herculean task. It took DeLucia four weeks to go through all of the documents and identify the policies and procedures embedded within them.

“I spread out the project on my dining room table and told my family that we couldn’t have company for dinner until the project was completed,” DeLucia said.

Barry Schiller
Like DeLucia, Barry Schiller, professor emeritus of mathematics, made use of skills he mastered during his professional career, but he also exercised his passions as well. In 2009 Schiller was asked by Carriuolo to chair the Master Plan Committee, with the goal to upgrade key facilities on campus.

Schiller said the work was appealing because he’d always been interested in planning, particularly ecologically responsible planning. A longtime volunteer in the environmental movement, Schiller is also one of Carriuolo’s green advisors and co-chair of Campus Clean-Up Day.

Schiller said, “From the first day President Carriuolo took office, I was impressed by her willingness to work collaboratively with the college community and the broader community and to engage in eco-friendly practices, such as bringing in the Farmer’s Market. She also made a convincing argument about the emeriti’s continued obligation and commitment to the college.”

George Epple
Commitment through service has been an integral part of George Epple’s life long before he retired. As professor of anthropology, he served on 26 different committees. Now as professor emeritus, he chairs the college’s Strategic Plan Monitoring Task Force. The task force’s job is to make sure the strategic plan for the college is carried out.

“I’ve served on the task force ever since the first strategic plan was created about six years ago,” said Epple. “I enjoy the contact I have with former coworkers and I enjoy knowing that the work I’m doing contributes to the college.”

Another one of RIC’s volunteers, Associate Professor Emeritus Richard Olson, is a member of the RIC Foundation, a corporation that helps manage funds donated to the college. When Olson retired as director of Adams Library, he was elected to serve as trustee of the foundation, later he became board member and is now secretary for the board.

Richard Olson
“I often had dealings with the RIC Foundation as director of Adams Library,” said Olson, “because people would make donations to the library. It seemed a natural progression to serve on the foundation. I have a strong attachment to the college. It’s where I’ve spent most of my professional life.”

Olson is also an ex-offico member of the Friends of Adams Library and was recently made a member of the Ridgway F. Shinn Jr. Study Abroad Fund Committee, which raises money for students to study in other countries.

James Bierden, professor emeritus of mathematics, is also a member of the study abroad committee. “I was recruited by Ridgway Shinn nine years ago,” said Bierden.

In fact, Shinn, the late professor emeritus of history, established the study abroad fund upon his own retirement. Shinn was the first chair of the history department, the first dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and vice president for Academic Affairs. His hope was that RIC undergraduates would expand their learning by studying and living outside the United States.

James Bierden
“Ridgway Shinn was one of my mentors on campus,” said Bierden. "I continue to be a part of the committee because I believe strongly in the program. This year, two RIC students are studying in Spain while another is studying in Australia because of the money we raised.”

All of the emeriti represented here have demonstrated that their volunteer work for RIC is a natural reflex, rooted in a sense of loyalty and family. Many other emeriti not mentioned here are doing the same.

“To witness and be a part of RIC’s growth makes me feel like a proud father,” said Olson. “The college has come a long way since I began working here in 1968. It’s a good college. It’s a college of opportunity. The college needs volunteers to help it prosper.”

On December 8, 2010, President Carriuolo will honor all RIC emeriti with a gathering at the RIC Chamber Music Series recital at 1:00, featuring the Shanghai Quartet and Judith Lynn Stillman on piano, followed by a reception in the Alumni Lounge.