Calandra “CeCe” McGee ‘15 from Chicago, Ill. was elected as a Recent Student Trustee to the Board of Trustees last spring. She graduated from Denison with a double-major in women’s and gender studies and Black studies (queer studies concentration), and also had a minor in biology. She was a residential assistant, a member of the Campus Climate team, a member of the Upsilon Delta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc and is now attending grad school at Southern Illinois University.
The Board of Trustees is a collection of thirty-eight individuals who take their passion for Denison one step further. Through extensive financial support, social networking, and legal proceedings these Trustees work together to make Denison a leading institution in college management and administrative governance. Similarly, a Recent Student Trustee is a Denison graduate who decides to dedicate their time to stay connected with the Denison community.
The Board exerts a certain influence through the financial and physical responsibilities that are given to them as Trustees, but they are also influential in the sense that they provide a student-based perspective to the Trustee board. With this in mind, these Recent Student Trustees present to the board the contemporary needs and concerns of students on campus, and ways to better improve the relationship between students and administration.
A new Recent Student Trustee is selected every year from the graduating class. Whoever is chosen as the new Recent Student Trustee is expected to serve a two-year term immediately following their graduation. Attaining this position is not easy. In order to apply to be a Recent Student Trustee, an individual must be nominated first.
“Having a recent graduate on the board of trustees brings an important voice and perspective into our conversations,” said President Weinberg. “The recent graduate is able to talk about the current student experience and to bring the perspective of next generation of Denisonians into our conversations about the college and where it should go strategically.”
If they accept their nomination, a Recent Student Trustee candidate has to complete an application, which is reviewed by a screening committee of students, faculty, and staff. The committee will forward two or three candidates to President Weinberg and the Committee of Trustee Affairs. The Board of Trustees makes the final decision as to who will be the next Recent Student Trustee.
“When I found out about my nomination for the Board, I originally decided not to apply. Words of encouragement from my mom—yeah, I called my mom—inspired me to accept my nomination, and apply for the position,” McGee said. “As an applicant, I wanted to become the Recent Student Trustee so I could introduce the concept of intersectionality to the Board, and assist them in formulating multi-dimensional services for students.”
McGee encourages students on campus to nominate any friend they know who would be a great candidate for the Recent Student Trustee position. She stresses the importance of knowing that students from all racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds can be nominees, and that involvement on campus can include but is not limited to individuals who have participated in student government, Residential Housing and Education, an athletic team, fraternity/sorority life, community service, intramural sports, student organizations and more.
“CeCe has been a fantastic board member. She is incredibly smart and understands student culture at Denison,” Weinberg said. “She has been able to bring an important perspective into our board of trustee conversations on a wide range of issues. She was a wonderful member of our community as a student who made a difference on campus and is doing the same as a trustee.”
“Being a Board member has taught me about higher education management, teambuilding, executive leadership, fundraising, and more,” said McGee. “Every meeting I am inspired by the sincerity of the Board of Trustees and President Weinberg, and their desires to make Denison a place of learning and personal growth for all students, along with preparing them for post-grad life.”