Carol Varney has been voted in as one of the College’s two elected alumni trustees.
Carol Varney ’90F was voted in as one of the College’s two elected alumni trustees last spring, starting her term in July. She says she plans to draw on her work as executive director of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)—and her experiences as a first-generation college student—to serve Hampshire.
Varney brings years of nonprofit experience: she’s been on the boards of the Bay Area Chapter of the NAMES Project, SPACE Gallery, the San Francisco Cinematheque, and the Camden International Film Festival. Serving at Hampshire, and collaborating with others who share her passion for the College, has been particularly exciting, though.
“It’s an honor to work with all of the other trustees at Hampshire, and to see how dedicated and rigorously thoughtful they are,” she says.
Coming from a rural town in Maine, and as the first person in her family to go to college, Varney says, “it was only through the kindness of professors and other students that I figured out what I needed to do to succeed at Hampshire.”
Varney found her college years to be life transforming, and deciding to go to Hampshire, she says, proved to be the right choice. “I made so many good friends who shaped the course of my life and who are still very close to me,” she says.
The BAVC provides media-making tools and support for a variety of people ranging in age from 14 to 90, among them a young, largely underrepresented constituency whose creativity and ambition, Varney says, remind her of her classmates and her own striving to achieve her goals.
“I’ve always thought Hampshire would be a great place for many of BAVC’s youth-program graduates,” she says. “I’m especially interested in making Hampshire a place where incredibly talented young people like them can feel comfortable, and affordable enough for them to attend.”
One of the most important ways to make that happen, Varney says, is to build support for the College. To that end, she hopes to encourage alums from her own generation to reconnect or build deeper ties with Hampshire.
“If they feel Hampshire was supportive of them,” she says, “then I hope they would consider giving back to the school to be sure others just like them have the opportunity to succeed.”