Director of Alumni Relations
Department: Alumni and College Relations
How to Apply
Berea College is a higher education institution where diverse perspectives converge, evolve and most important, engender transformative learning. The first interracial and coeducational college in the Southern United States, nestled in the heart of Southern Appalachia, Berea was founded on the abolitionist principles of its inaugural leader John G. Fee, chief among them the conviction that students of all faiths, perspectives and backgrounds with academic promise but limited financial means were entitled to the finest quality college education. (see Berea College’s Mission). Indeed Berea was named the #1 liberal arts college in America in the 2011 Washington Monthly College Rankings because of the College’s success in living out its historic mission of providing low-income students an excellent education for lives of professional and community service. Never content to rest on its laurels, the College has launched several initiatives designed to take this transformative educational experience through the 21st century and beyond.
Berea College is seeking a leader to design, plan, execute and assess an integrated strategic alumni program in order to deeply engage the College’s 17,000 alumni in the life of their alma mater. As senior colleague in the Alumni and College Relations division, the Director of Alumni Relations has the opportunity to position the alumni relations staff as a creative and responsive team to build strong and effective alliances with internal and external partners. The new Director’s critical task will be to create a strategic, pro-active alumni engagement program that seeks to deepen alumni engagement and involvement leading to increased financial support, volunteerism and other visible signs of heightened affinity and connectedness.
Under the direction of the Vice President for Alumni and College Relations, the Director of Alumni Relations will develop and lead Berea College’s overall alumni engagement strategy and programming. Major responsibilities include managing current programs and activities while working with campus partners to create new and unique alumni engagement efforts for Berea College graduates with varying and diverse needs and expectations with the goal of expanding and enhancing alumni affinity and alignment with the mission and strategic direction of Berea College. He/she will assess, expand and enhance the current regional chapter/club program working with the alumni relations staff and alumni volunteers to develop a plan for revitalized regional programming that accrues to overall alumni engagement goals. The Director of Alumni Relations will model best practice strategies for recruiting, staffing and recognizing alumni volunteers; serve as lead support for a national Alumni Executive Council; work collaboratively with the newly appointed Associate Vice President for Integrated Marketing and communications (IMC) and IMC colleagues to design innovative communication strategies and tools to deeply engage alumni and other external stakeholders in sustaining the mission of the College. Defining measures of success and creating a means and process for tracking and assessing the level of affinity and engagement of Berea College alumni will be essential. The Director will supervise and manage the alumni relations personnel, budgets and resources in order to effectively execute the alumni engagement plan and other unit and divisional priorities. The Director will work collaboratively and strategically to support the college’s historic fundraising program, and ensure the Alumni Relations office plays a vital role in development programs and serve as a member of the divisional senior leadership team.
The successful candidate will possess an uncommon ability to lead, unify, and mentor with proven and developed relationship skills and experience in managing professional staff, preferably in a dynamic and changing environment. While candidates for the Director of Alumni Relations will not be defined by a singular background profile, the following experiences and settings will merit strongest consideration: a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Business, Public Relations, Marketing, Communications or a related field; a Berea College degree is preferred, but not mandatory; five years of professional experience in alumni, public relations, or development programs in an institution of higher education in progressively more responsible positions, including three years of supervisory/management experience or seven years related experience in non-educational industry coupled with volunteer activities in an institution of higher education. Candidates must exemplify excellent oral and written communication skills, an engaging public presence, and a demonstrated ability to identify critical opportunities, analyze, problem-solve and plan in the role of both a strategic thinker and a project manager. Alumni and College Relations is looking for an exemplary individual with the capacity and inclination to embrace and promote an institution that has a values-based core and a multi-dimensional approach to education: head, heart and hands; an intellectual curiosity and fair-minded individual who advocates for social justice and challenges negative stereotypes, and above all, a commitment to leading with integrity and transparency while modeling a balance of strength and humility at every turn.
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Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply for this position by obtaining and completing an Application to Join the College Staff which is available through People Services, Suite 100, Fairchild Hall on the campus, on line or by contacting the People Services Department at 859-985-3070 or 985-3050. Please fax or mail the completed application, a detailed letter of interest,the optional survey, and a current resume to: People Services, Berea College, CPO 2189, Berea, KY 40404. Fax: 859-985-3911.
Berea College, in light of its mission in the tradition of impartial love and social equality, welcomes all peoples of the earth to learn and work here. Employment decisions are based on training, education and experience related to the requirements of the job. All applicants for employment are considered without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability.