SPARC provides opportunities for Hampshire College alumni to share their professional work and experiences with students, faculty, and the greater Hampshire community, as well as providing current students with an opportunity to supplement their studies through participation in specialized workshops, seminars, and other means of engagement. Through the aforementioned activities, SPARC seeks to both augment areas of the college where faculty offerings are strong and fill gaps where less is offered but student interest is high.
SPARC endowment stewarded by the Lemelson Center supports professional alumni returning to campus. This funding is used to give standard honorariums to alumni, although alumni can to waive the honorarium, which will return to the fund to support additional alumni presenters. SPARC funds are also used to support alumni travel expenses when appropriate, promotion for events, and event costs. Should additional funding become available, then the magnitude and/or scope of SPARC activities can be expanded.
Each semester the SPARC committee meets with the student members of the five Schools to solicit topics of student interest and alumni contacts. In addition, ballots are distributed at School meetings to get faculty input. Finally, the committee works with the offices of institutional advancement, communications, and career options to identify appropriate alumni presenters and plan the SPARC event series. The Lemelson Center plans, promotes, and executes the events in conjunction with appropriate interoffice cooperation and in collaboration with the office of the dean of faculty.
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