Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 2.
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Pomona College Magazine is published three times a year by Pomona College
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Online Editor: Mark Kendall

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Editor: Mark Wood
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Volunteer Profile:

Taziwa Chanaiwa ’95

Taziwa Chanaiwa ’95 stepped into his role as alumni board president effective July 1, 2004, with firsthand experience and a vision.

Chanaiwa is assistant director of Harvard University West Coast Development and previously served as the assistant director of Alumni Relations at Pomona.

“We’re going to put an emphasis on being active, visible advocates of the College,” said Chanaiwa of the 22-member board.

Under his direction, the board is conducting its strategic planning this year, which Chanaiwa said should result in a more collaborative relationship between alumni and the College.
“The important challenge for Pomona’s Alumni Association is developing strategies and tools to keep alumni engaged,” he said.

Chanaiwa said the board is an advisory group that should assure alumni activities meet the needs of a varied population. Young alumni, for example, are attracted to networking types of events such as happy hours where they can meet others in the area they’ve settled in. Whereas, older alumni often lean toward activities that help them further their education, such as travel study or alumni symposiums.

The board should also ensure the College engages its alumni volunteers in a way they feel supported, said Chanaiwa. Alumni serve in a number of capacities that include career resources, prospective student meetings, regional programming and reunion committees. Sometimes the volunteers are working solo on a project. “We don’t want them to feel like they’re on an island,” he said.

Chanaiwa of Watts grew up in the San Fernando Valley and Zimbabwe, Africa. Upon graduation from Pomona, he joined Pomona’s Office of Campus Life, working with RAs and residence hall councils for a year, then worked as coordinator of student activities in the College’s Campus Center for two years. He was employed in Alumni Relations at the College (by the nature of his position, serving as secretary to the Alumni Association) before taking a shot in the tech world. He was appointed to the Harvard position as major gifts officer for Southern California in November 2003. He has been on the alumni board since 1998, serving on ad hoc committees such as board restructuring and regional clubs. His term as president is a one-year term.

“At the end of the day, there is a mutual benefit for the College and alumni to draw together and feel more connected,” said Chanaiwa.
©Copyright 2004
by Pomona College
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