April 2, 2018
Topic: Campus News
After ending her almost 15-year career at the University of Michigan and retiring in 2016, Kristin Romelhardt returned to the Big House last year to volunteer at Spring Commencement.
She served as a greeter at one of the stadium gates, where she helped guests find their seats. It was a natural fit for Romelhardt, who spent her U-M career helping others in several positions, including as a department chair secretary and an administrative assistant.
Some of her favorite experiences included the opportunity to watch commencement from the Michigan Stadium indoor suites and helping one guest find a wheelchair.
"I like to help people," Romelhardt said. "I just like to be the face that people see and I like to be friendly with people."
"It might be a little intimidating for some people to try and find their way into Ann Arbor, park, walk into the stadium and now find their seats in this giant place," she continued. "If they remember me or not, I don't care, but I just hope that I was just one person that they might go away and say, 'Oh that was a good experience,' and maybe the volunteers played a part in that."
For the 2018 Spring Commencement, the university hopes to enlist 100 volunteers to welcome guests, pass out programs, assist attendees with limited mobility by pushing wheelchairs and driving golf carts, answer families' questions and help guests who are boarding shuttle buses at area hotels.
Staff, faculty, students, retirees and alumni are invited to sign up to volunteer. Volunteers must be available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 28. Those who wish to volunteer must attend one of three orientation sessions at the Junge Family Champions Center, 333 E. Stadium Blvd.
The sessions will take place at:
• 11:45 a.m.-12:45 a.m., April 23
• 8:15 a.m.-9:15 a.m., April 24
• 4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m., April 24
Volunteers will receive a concessions voucher and T-shirt, and will be entered in a raffle for football tickets or gift cards to Ann Arbor-area establishments.
Romelhardt plans to volunteer at this year's Spring Commencement ceremony. She encourages other faculty, staff and retirees to volunteer, noting the university needs as much help as it can get to create a great experience for guests.
"It's a good way for the families to feel like this is their final experience with the university and there were tons of friendly people there to help make that a good experience for them as well."