Jason Slade '90 has experienced Woodberry in many different ways: As a student, as the brother of two students, as a member of the faculty and, for many years, as an active volunteer in the Raleigh-area. He currently serves as the president of Woodberry's Triangle Association board.
What keeps you excited and motivated to serve as a volunteer for the Triangle Association?
I was fortunate to connect with the Triangle Association in my first year working at Woodberry. Being welcomed into a collaborative, volunteer grassroots organization that always had time and energy to share was a tremendous experience for me and informed much of my approach to my role as an admission officer. Without the decades long effort of these volunteers, perhaps a third of the Triangle-area students we have enrolled since their efforts began would not have experienced Woodberry.
I am so proud to be able to continue the tradition of working hard in our area to find and enroll great new students, and I am motivated by the boundless energy of alumni and parents in the Triangle area who will literally drop anything to get involved.
You spent a decade on faculty in the Admission office. What was your favorite part of working at Woodberry? Is there anything you learned during your time on faculty that's shaped how you work to support the school as a volunteer?
One of the best parts about being on the faculty at Woodberry is being on the other side of the advisor-advisee relationship. Creating a supportive and engaged advisee group out of students who may not have much in common with each other is surprisingly rewarding, especially as they grow up and welcome other younger boys into the group.
One of the most enjoyable highlights would be when a recently graduated advisee would come for a visit and reconnect with the old advisee group. I think a common theme of much of Woodberry is the sense of community that we all seem to share. Sitting around at a casual meet and greet last year in Raleigh with about ten alumni, one of them, about a decade younger than the rest and one of my advisees, leaned over and remarked on how much he felt like he was sitting in the Reynolds Family Dining Room with an advisee group. To me, finding more ways to recreate these little moments of community is one of the best uses of our time as regional volunteers.
Your brothers, Chip '02 and Lee '05, also went to Woodberry. When you all get together and wind up talking about Woodberry, what does the conversation tend to focus on?
John Reimers. Mostly good. Always funny.
What's the best thing Woodberry alums did in the Triangle last year or plan to do this year?
We have some good initiatives in process and in planning. Last year we became more serious about holding regular monthly causal get-togethers for alumni. It’s a fun way to (re)connect with people you overlapped with or to meet other interesting alumni you may have heard of but don’t necessarily know. Carter Brenneman, Isaac Brown and John Nash have taken this on.
This year, we are sponsoring a mother’s coffee after our February regional reception and have invited Jennifer Hulsey to be the guest speaker. A number of years ago our association identified that in order to serve the entire constituency of the school better, we ought not to be an “alumni-only” association, and we have had a number of very active non-alum parents as board members. Parents Kim Collie and Liza Roberts currently serve on our board and are spearheading this event, while Kim also serves as co-chair of our admissions committee.
Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.