W&L’s Legendary Volunteers: Nelson Bunn ’08 Kailyn Jury ’24 interviewed Nelson Bunn ’08 to learn more about his service and commitment to Washington and Lee.
W&L alumni give their time to their alma mater in many ways, including serving as class agents, on reunion committees, as chapter leaders and on advisory boards. This winter, the Development Ambassadors, Annual Giving’s student volunteers, interviewed some of the university’s longtime, high-achieving, legendary volunteers.
Development Ambassador Kailyn Jury interviewed Nelson Bunn ’08 to learn more about his service and commitment to Washington and Lee.
Volunteer Roles: Bunn is president of the Alumni Board and has served as the Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter president, a class agent and reunion committee member.
W&L Background: As a student, Bunn double-majored in politics and Spanish, played tennis, and participated in First-Year Leadership Council and Mock Convention.
Career: Bunn is the executive director of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), a membership association that provides training, services and expertise to prosecutors around the country. After graduating from W&L, he earned a master’s degree in international affairs with a concentration in international law and organizations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
“I think giving back time is a way to support what is going on in your chapter or at the university itself, and it sets a good example for younger generations of W&L graduates.”
~ Nelson Bunn ’08
Q: How did you first get involved in volunteering for W&L as an alumnus?
When I first moved to D.C. after graduating in 2008, I went to the Welcome to the City event that the alumni chapter hosted. I frequently attended alumni events for the chapter and offered to help plan events. Then I worked my way up the ladder and found myself on the alumni board for the D.C. chapter, where I did everything from a secretary role to a position as vice president, and then president for a two-year rotation. I was asked to be on the Alumni Board as a freshman class member. I am very involved in structuring the alumni chapters. I stepped into the VP role for the Alumni Board, and in May I took over as president.
Q: What inspired you to become a volunteer?
I am social by nature and love interacting, networking and connecting with people. I also wanted to expand my own horizons. I feel a strong loyalty to the university and had such a great family experience with the school. I felt that the least I could do was give back. I feel like it prepared me so well for life and academics. I got to play a sport, and all of that prepared me for the real world. I feel a great obligation to give back and do so both through service and financially. I really wanted to be part of the W&L experience after my time as a student.
Q: What has been your proudest moment as a W&L volunteer?
While I was president of D.C. Chapter Board, I helped organize the first Alumni Fancy Dress ball with the Richmond chapter. I got to introduce the former senator of Virginia as our guest speaker. That was super exciting and a great culmination of my leadership role.
Q: When were you last on campus?
I am fortunate that I get to come back twice a year for events with the Alumni Board, so I was on campus in the fall and again in February to give an Alumni Engagement update to the Board of Trustees.
Q: Why should alumni consider giving their time as a volunteer for W&L?
I think giving back time is a way to support what is going on in your chapter or at the university itself, and it sets a good example for younger generations of W&L graduates. The alumni network is such a great resource, and through service, you get to take full advantage of that.
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