Director of Alumni Relations

Department Statement

Colgate University, a top-ranked liberal arts college, is seeking a Director of Alumni Relations to oversee and elevate an alumni program focused on engaging more than 34,000 living alumni. Founded in 1819, Colgate is a small, highly selective residential liberal arts college for students of talent who are preparing for lives of leadership and productive citizenship. Colgate University enjoys a strong tradition of philanthropy and engagement, having successfully raised over $480 million from more than 34,500 community members during Passion for The Climb: The Campaign for Colgate, completed in 2012. On an annual basis, more than 56% of Colgate’s alumni engage with the University through philanthropy, volunteering, or engaging at online and in person programs, including signature events like Reunion that draws in more than 2500 alumni. This tradition of philanthropy paired with strong levels of alumni affinity position Colgate well for even greater success, as the Vice President and his team prepare to lead the community into an historic and comprehensive campaign.

At this pivotal moment in the University’s history, Colgate is seeking a highly knowledgeable and experienced alumni relations strategist and manager with a demonstrated passion for liberal arts education and the role alumni engagement plays in supporting its mission. The Director of Alumni Relations will manage and coach a team of alumni relations staff who are pivotal in realizing the potential of alumni engagement. This individual must possess superior communication skills and emotional intelligence and have the ability to inspire and mentor staff and volunteers to support Colgate’s mission. The best-matched candidate will demonstrate integrity and maturity in the industry through strong leadership/management practice, knowledge about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion best practices, and proven alumni engagement strategy.


Responsible for advancing the university’s mission, objectives, and strategies by creating long-term, positive alumni engagement. Accountable for developing and implementing a strategy to increase the Alumni Engagement Index by strengthening volunteerism, event attendance, and online engagement, while being responsive to trends and changes as priorities evolve.

Accountable for the oversight for the Alumni Relations budget. Responsible for fostering an environment for inter-departmental collaboration including support for alumni engagement goals.

Accountable for providing oversight and strategic support for programs to engage alumni through affinities and identifies, intellectual engagement, regional initiatives, Reunion programming and the Colgate Professional Networks.

Accountable for engagement with the Alumni Council. Provides oversight and direction for the Alumni Relations team.

Responsible for the effective supervision of staff as assigned. Ensures selection and hiring of high quality employees; ensures appropriate distribution of work assignments and high quality of employee work product; ensures fair, accurate and timely performance assessments and feedback to include identifying areas for professional development and documenting and conducting disciplinary measures, as needed. Responsible for ensuring fair and accurate decisions regarding employment status (hire, promotion, salary increases, and termination); ensures the creation of effective opportunities and programs for employee mentoring, development and sustained performance.

Professional Experience/ Qualifications

- 5-7 years experience in higher education, fundraising, non-profit management or a related field with a preference for experience in alumni engagement or educational fundraising, which includes an acknowledged work history showing creative productivity.
- Demonstrated ability to manage, mentor, and guide a growing team of professionals.
- The professionalism, insight and sound judgment necessary for interacting with board, trustees, administrative and academic leadership, faculty, and staff.
- An understanding of the important role of diversity, inclusion, and equity to institutional advancement and alumni engagement.
- Ability to operate independently, exercise sound judgment, and maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to collaborate closely with colleagues in development and across departments.
- Proficiency in CRMs and/or databases is required. Experience with BlackBaud products appreciated.
- Strategic planning, organizational, administrative and budgetary experience is a must.
- Willingness to travel.

Preferred Qualifications Education

Bachelor’s Degree is required.

Job Open Date 06/02/2021 Job Close Date Open Until Filled No Special Instructions Summary EEO Statement

It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

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