Kirk Bixler ’89
Kirk Bixler ’89
Hometown: Franklin, IN
Major at Earlham: Psychology (Religion minor)
Current title: Assistant Dean of Students; Director of Career Services at Franklin College
“Find a way to volunteer to help others know what a great and transformative place Earlham is.“
Tell us a bit about how you discovered Earlham when you enrolled here.
A mentor in high school told me about this great college that I should visit. When I came to visit, it was very different than the other colleges I visited and it felt like “home.” It was a place where I knew I would be challenged both intellectually and socially.
Share some fond memories from your Earlham undergraduate experience.
My best memories are about the people and the relationships I developed. I remember sitting in the Hoerner lounges playing Mao (a card game) for hours, making donut runs, playing in the jazz band and doing the oldies show on WECI. Some of the best relationships were with faculty such as Michael Birkel, Steve Heiney, Gordon Thompson and Kathy Milar, who taught me to stretch my mind and truly appreciate learning.
Do you give to Earlham? Why or why not? If you give, do you support anything in particular?
I give to the Earlham Fund because I think it is important to help future generations of Earlhamites to benefit from all an Earlham education and experience has to offer.
Why did you decide to become an Earlham volunteer, and what specifically did you volunteer to do?
I wanted to become a member of the Alumni Council as it would give me an avenue to give back to the College. For me, that was a way to both connect with students and also have a deeper understanding of what is happening at Earlham today.
Share some details from your volunteer experience(s).
Through the Alumni Council, I have been able to assist with several networking events and have been able to assist students to prepare for their future careers. I have also been able to participate actively in Earlham Day.
In what ways do you feel you have made a difference as a volunteer?
I hope that I have encouraged students to think beyond Earlham as they consider their calling and career paths. It is important for students to really think about who they are and what impact they can have on those around them and on the world in which we live.
What would you say to others to encourage more alumni to volunteer?
Earlham is a place where great transformations happen. Students begin to look at the world and society in a different way. They have the opportunity to have life-changing experiences such as study abroad, undergraduate research, learning from faculty or being involved on campus. Sometimes, those transformations happen from meeting and becoming friends with other students who come from other counties or very different backgrounds. Sometimes, those transformations happen in a quiet moment on the swing on the heart or a walk back campus. Find a way to volunteer to help others know what a great and transformative place Earlham is. This can be done in simple ways like encouraging prospective students to consider Earlham as a place to further their education. Students are always looking for places to do internships and gain practical experience to prepare for their careers. Offer to supervise, host or help fund an intern. The alumni and development office is always seeking those who can host or help plan alumni events or just give to the Earlham fund so that future students can have these transformative experiences .