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Donnie Smith ’11

Donnie Smith photo

Donnie Smith ’11

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Major at Earlham: English

After Earlham venture: Director of Admissions, Redwood Day School

I think Earlham needs us more than ever, and they need us to help continuing to tell our stories. Also, I think if you have ever thought of sharing your craft and the things you loved doing after Earlham, please do reach out to the College or someone on Alumni Council. We are here to help make sure you are connected and engaged with the College.

Tell us a bit about how you discovered Earlham when you enrolled here.

I attended Northfield Mount Hermon School in Western Massachusetts. It was a great experience and I knew that I wanted a small college experience. I found out about Earlham through Jeff Rickey (former Director of Admissions) and my former English teacher Pamela Shoemaker `67. It was the best decision for me in my life and I was excited and honored to be a part of the 2011 class.

Share some fond memories from your Earlham undergraduate experience.

I ran cross country my first year at Earlham. I really valued and still appreciate my opportunity to study abroad in London with Walt Bistline. I went to Argentina for a May Term with Joann Swanger; she is amazing. Also, I had the most amazing advisor Joann Quinones who supported me in finding my inner light, for that I’m forever grateful. 

Did you benefit from alumni giving or alumni volunteering as a student? If so, how?

I benefited from alumni giving by understanding the importance of giving of your time and money to a community you value. I have been on the Alumni Council for years and have done my best to be a champion for the College. It is truly a place that has the power to change lives.

Do you give to Earlham? Why or why not? If you give, do you support anything in particular?

I give to Earlham every year and now that the world is changing I will be giving more to the College to support black students and the student-of-color experience at the College. We need more people to experience this kind of liberal arts with a ton of quakerism education.

Why did you decide to become an Earlham volunteer, and what specifically did you volunteer to do?

I decided to become a volunteer because I knew and I know that I want to continue to serve this amazing community. Earlham has values I live by and the community of people I have in my life because of my time there has made me want to make sure the future of Earlham continues to do great things for the next group of Earlhamites.

Share some details from your volunteer experience(s).

I come to campus twice a year for alumni council. I have helped with Earlham Day hosting in New York and offered to host in Oakland before COVID 19. Also, I have had the pleasure to connect with future Earlhamites at receptions and via email to help them understand the power of Earlham and the amazing education.

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.