Hello Faculty Advisors! Thank you so much for taking on a role that will empower young people to take up the fight against cancer, and for joining that fight yourself! Below are some guidelines to help you be successful and informed in your role.


Faculty Advisors coach students through the planning of a Relay For Life event, and should provide support to keep students action and future oriented. An advisor should not only be dedicated to the growth of their students, but also to learning about the mission of the American Cancer Society.

The ACS Staff Partner and Faculty Advisor work as a team in order to equip the student committee with the tools necessary to carry out a successful event. The Advisor works as a coach to support the team as a whole and bring out the potential within each individual on the team.

The members of the planning committee do the planning and execute the work, while the Advisor supports and encourages them throughout the process. The students are the presenters of the project and the voice of their organization as well as the American Cancer Society. 

We know that in reality, some duties originally given to students may fall to the Advisor if they aren’t completed, but – overall – student leadership is what makes this a student event. They are the ones who know their peers best and what they know what they want to see at Relay.


  • Have weekly conversations with your student chair/s to make sure they are on task so you can be of assistance to them if needed.

  • Encourage them along the way. Send little notes, drop them an email. They need to feel appreciated!

  • Help chairs delegate to their subcommittees. If they try to take on all of the responsibilities, gently point that out, and help them give ownership to other committee members.

  • Make sure they realize that this is their event! When they own it, the event will be incredible.

  • See your job as an opportunity to invest a leader for now and the future!

In addition, Ask Powerful Questions during the planning process:

  • If anything was possible, what would you do?

  • Can you describe what that might look like?

  • What catches the attention of the student body?

  • What is the time frame for this particular goal?

  • What opportunities do you see?

  • What are some of the obstacles you might face?

  • What are some different ways you could approach this issue?

  • What might hold you back?

  • When will you start and finish each step?

  • Who might help you with this task?

Lean on your ACS staff partner for support and always make sure that you keep them in the loop. Discuss the resources available to you to better advise the students throughout the duration of the planning process.  Together, the ACS Staff Partner and Faculty Advisor can make sure that the students have exactly what they need in order to be successful!