Director of Alumni and Parent Programs

Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand.

Position Details

The Office of University Advancement builds lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, and friends, and engages them in support of Wesleyan’s educational mission and financial goals.

The Advancement team fosters pride in the Wesleyan community and develops support for university initiatives through outreach activities, including development/fundraising; alumni & parent relations and both on and off-campus events.

Reporting to the Vice President for Advancement, the Director of Alumni and Parent Relations is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Alumni & Parent Relations team, developing programs, communication and volunteer initiatives that deepen alumni and parent engagement in the life of the University and inspires their financial support.

The Director will set clear and measurable goals and oversee the alumni relations staff (team of 7) who plan and implement programs and events to effectively engage alumni and parents with the mission of the university.

Responsibilities include:

Developing and executing an annual constituent engagement plan. Determining and aligning annual goals, objectives, operating plans, budgets, staffing, and volunteer management for Alumni & Parent Relations.

Building a collaborative team model with other teams within Advancement to support strategic initiatives.

Strategically integrating alumni involvement and their resources into the university fabric, including partnerships with other university offices including Academic Divisions, Career Services, Student Services, Athletics Department and President’s Office.

Building strong working relationships across the University in support of all APR initiatives.

Managing, coaching, training and mentoring the Alumni & Parent relations team.

Leveraging data analytics to develop tools and enhance strategies for engaging alumni, parents and students, and fully utilizing the Constituent Relationship Management ( CRM ) system for alumni relations data needs.

Creating and expanding opportunities for alumni to engage and connect virtually. Assessing needs and bandwidth to accomplish both in-person and virtual events, offering hybrid engagement opportunities when appropriate.

Monitoring progress of programs against planned outcomes and developing and managing program plans and budgets.

Developing and implementing effective communications with alumni and parents using existing publications while continuing to explore new virtual and web-based vehicles.

Planning and executing special events to involve potential donors and key volunteers in activities to encourage gifts to meet the University priorities.

Creating targeted engagement opportunities for Graduates of the Last Decade ( GOLD ) and undergraduates.

Directing the strategy of the Alumni Association Executive Committee ( AAEC ) and the work of its subcommittees including The Trustee Nominating Committee, and The Binswanger Prize Committee.

Overseeing the recruitment, engagement, management and tracking of volunteers. Ensuring volunteer experiences are meaningful and grow the pipeline of volunteers at all levels.

Leading the planning and execution of Homecoming/Family Weekend and Reunion & Commencement Weekend.

Other duties as assigned


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree and at least 5 years of progressively responsible professional experience with alumni relations and/or volunteer groups or an equivalent combination of education training and experience.

Demonstrated ability to engage individuals and articulate institutional needs while exercising discretion and maintaining confidentiality.

Demonstrated success in developing and managing programs.

Proven ability to set goals and to develop strategies and timelines to complete projects and reach goals.

Experience managing others.

Demonstrated experience in creating and managing budgets.

Ability to work effectively with volunteers, colleagues, and various constituencies globally.

Excellent analytical skills and comfort with data driven planning and outcomes.

Self motivated. Able to work independently and collaboratively.

Effective communication skills.

Valid driver’s license.

Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings, nights, weekends and holidays as needed. Some travel is required.

Demonstrated commitment to work within a diverse environment and to interact openly with individuals of different backgrounds.


Preferred Qualifications

Record of successful collaboration with sophisticated volunteers and senior administrative officers.

Experience with higher education, nonprofits, alumni relations or related field.

Familiarity with advancement systems

Demonstrated experience in event planning

Prior Supervisory Experience


Special Instructions to Applicants

Application close date is June 7, 2021


Additional Information

Any and all offers to external applicants are contingent on the candidate’s completion of a pre-employment background check screening to the satisfaction of Wesleyan University.



Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Connecticut, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information or non-position-related criminal record. We welcome applications from women and historically underrepresented minority groups. Inquiries regarding Title IX, Section 504, or any other non-discrimination policies should be directed to: Alison Williams, Vice President for Equity & Inclusion/ Title IX Officer, 860-685-3927, awilliams@wesleyan.edu.

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