Director of Special Events

Job Description:

Reporting directly to the Vice President for University Advancement, the Director of Special Events helps conceptualize, plan, execute, and evaluate all on-campus and off campus special and social events sponsored by University Advancement or the division's chapters or volunteer.

To achieve our mission as a liberal arts college, we continually strive to foster an inclusive campus community, which recognizes the value of all persons regardless of identity. Our department is committed to contributing to an educational environment that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity.

Essential Functions:

  • Oversite of the Events and Conference Coordinator to assist with the scheduling for all sports camps, conferences and symposiums as well as Parent & Family Weekend planning.

  • Oversite of the Lee House Special Events Coordinator and Housekeeper to ensure proper planning and execution of the events in the president’s house.

  • Oversees the day-to-day operations of the Morris House and Belfield including overseeing reserving, confirming, billing, and maintaining their general upkeep and appearance.

  • Helps plan, execute, and evaluate important campus events such as: Homecoming, Reunions, BOT of Trustees meetings, Convocation, Commencements, and special events related to the University's donors and potential supporters. Serve a supporting role as needed for campus events primarily managed by others — events such as holiday parties, Senior Night, and Admissions Maze.

  • Works with officers within Advancement and/or appropriate local alumni leaders to identify possible sites and finalize site arrangements, to plan and negotiate menus and food and beverage details, and to foresee and meet needs arising from programming and any other details necessary to make the event successful.

  • Works with the directors within Advancement to plan programming for each event and serve as primary liaison to finalize all arrangements related to programming

  • Works with the director of the alumni office, the staff members most responsible for chapter programming, and chapter leadership to ensure that chapter programs are varied, involve occasional and appropriate campus guests such as faculty speakers and students, and take advantage of local events and exhibitions of broad interest to alumni, parents, and friends.

  • Develops the agenda for all major events and distribute the information regarding events to all parties involved to include the University President, Vice President for University Advancement, chapter leaders, and other staff involved with the events in the days prior to each event.

  • Coordinates with departments within the university as well as meeting with others in the area (VMI, Lexington City) to develop the schedule for all major weekends and activities for future events to eliminate and avoid any conflicts in schedules whenever possible.

  • Oversees and approve the design of all invitations to Advancement events and to significant university events mentioned later and ensure that invitations are mailed to the appropriate invitation list with the proper advance notice.

  • Oversees process and use all technology to ensure that invitation list for each event is clear and approved, responses are registered and readily known by all who should know, guests are greeted and their attendance noted, nametags are consistently professional, and all attendance information is accurately recorded on the database after each event.

  • Arranges table and seating assignments for all major dinners.

  • Provides consultation, guidance, and general support as needed to departments, schools, and programs with their special events.

  • Arranges the purchase of merchandise for special events through University processes or through documented competitive bids. Exceptions paid with university funds or through university-related accounts must be approved before purchase by the Vice President for Advancement.

  • Additional related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience is required. Extensive experience with event planning and management. Ability to plan ahead and involve a team. Tremendous attention to detail and accuracy. Familiar with computer systems and programs to manage special events. Desire to serve the University's constituencies well and create positive experiences. A collegial attitude and ability to work closely and positively with partners on and off campus in ways beyond reproach. Ability to travel regularly on behalf of the University without any restrictions.

Application Instructions:

The university requires employees to become fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and new employees must provide proof of at least their first shot prior to the first day of employment. Individuals may seek a medical or a religious exemption to the vaccination requirement.

Upload a resume and cover letter. You will be asked to provide contact information for professional references in the application questionnaire. Review of applications will begin on May 17, 2021 and continue until position is filled.

External Applicants: Please upload your resume on the Quick Apply screen. Your application will automatically populate your resume details, and you may verify and update data on the My Information page. Add your cover letter and any other documents required for the position to the Resume/CV document upload section at the bottom of the My Experience application page. You will not be able to modify your application after you submit it. The My Experience page is the only opportunity to add your cover letter and supporting document attachments. The online application form requires you provide names and contact information for three professional references.

Current W&L Employees: Apply from your existing Workday account. Do not apply from the website. Log in to Workday. Click on the Career Application and select the Open W&L Jobs report. Locate the position and click Apply. Update your Education and Job History. Attach your cover letter and resume, and provide three professional references in the appropriate boxes. Refer to this Job Aid for additional guidance.

Physical Requirements:

  • Fingering: Picking, pinching, typing or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with whole hand or arm as in handling.

  • Grasping: Applying pressure to an object with the fingers and palm.

  • Repetitive motions: Making substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.

Working Conditions: None

Types of Work: Sedentary work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

Work Schedule: M -F, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm with occasional nights and weekend hours required.

Benefit Eligible



Weekly Hours:


Minimum Pay:


Pay commensurate with experience.

Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.

Washington and Lee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance and professionalism and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity in our faculty, staff and student body. Job description requirements are representative, but not all-inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

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