When it comes to Davidson College, the relationship is often a family affair, and this could not be truer for Tatum Pottenger '14 of Norlina, N.C. and parents David '79 and Sara Tatum Pottenger '79 of Durham.
Volunteer spirit permeates this dynamic trio. Sara is a current member of the college's Board of Trustees and has held several other volunteer positions including membership on the Board of Visitors and leading her class' Reunion planning. She was awarded the Alumni Service Award in 2010. David has remained involved with his class, and most recently served as the group's 35th Reunion Gift Chair. Following in her parents' footsteps, Tatum was involved as a Senior Class Gift committee member and is now a Fund for Davidson chair.
"I have loved Davidson College since walking onto the campus so many years ago," said Sara. "Being a part of the ongoing life of the college through alumni and other activities just seems to be a natural way to remain connected to the extraordinary place and people that shaped me and prepared me for my life."
"I feel called/compelled to try to give back, in some small way, to an institution that had and continues to have such a profound impact on my life," said David. "I enjoy reconnecting with many long-time friends and forging new friendships as a result of working together. This year in particular, through our reunion planning efforts, the simple ability to be together, to share once again a Davidson experience, was profoundly meaningful to me."
David and Sara are pleased that their volunteerism has set an example for daughter, Tatum.
"Our daughter's experiences remind me that a vital part of Davidson's mission continues to include preparation of students for lives of leadership and service, and that Davidson continues to do this very well," said Sara. "I want to set an example for her as others have done for me through the years."
Tatum has taken her parents' lead, and also credits her Davidson experience with preparing her to serve others.
"In my time at Davidson I received countless opportunities to problem-solve, think critically and creatively, explore and expand my passions, and challenge that with which I do not agree," said Tatum. "All of these have provided me with the skills necessary to joyfully and wholeheartedly pursue a life of service- both for Davidson and in the greater world outside of our beloved 'bubble.'"
David encourages alumni, parents and friends to be open to volunteer opportunities at Davidson, even if it's something unplanned.
"Do it," he said. "You'll learn from it. You'll grow from it. You'll come to know and love Davidson in a new and different way. You'll be contributing to the incredibly important mission of the college."