Development and alumni relations department to undergo changes

Monica Kast

The development and alumni relations staff will undergo slight reorganization as well as launch a new plan for developing alumni connections.

Marc Archambault, vice president of development and alumni relations and president of the WKU Foundation, said the departmental changes will be “restoring a couple of specialized functions.”

“This is to improve our ability to fundraise on a year to year basis, and also to be able to do more with alumni relations and prepare for a future campaign,” Archambault said.

Archambault said department has slightly changed the assignments of fundraisers. There will now be a Corporate and Foundation Relations Representative and a Planned Giving Specialist, which Archambault said the department hasn’t had for several years.

There will also be a new department which will act as College Advancement Officers, with three officers working with two colleges each within the university. Archambault said these new officers will allow more access to fundraising for deans.

“This will give us a better way to optimize our staff for fundraising,” Archambault said.

Archambault said there will be continued fundraising for WKU, just using a different model. He added this model will allow for more faculty support and involvement.

Archambault said there will be one new hire within the department, the assistant director of college advancement. He said other than that, the staff will remain the same.

“These are the same staff we’ve always had, just being moved around a little bit in their assignments,” he said.

Along with the departmental changes, there is also a new plan for advancing alumni connections through the Alumni Association.

Anthony McAdoo was hired as the new executive director of the Alumni Association this summer. Previously, McAdoo worked as the senior director of the Alumni Association at the University of Oregon.

He said the plan came about because he found that alumni and graduates were proud of WKU, but were questioning what the next step was.

“What I see is a lot of passion and a lot of hard work and dedication by staff and volunteers alike,” McAdoo said. “What I’ve seen that we need to improve upon is what are our priorities, and where should we be focusing our resources.”

The new plan hopes to grow membership, improve communication and marketing, supporting and engaging alumni and graduates and present new alumni events.

Archambault said his department is excited about the new plan, and he feels alumni are as well.

“The alumni are hungry to get involved to do more to help their alma mater,” Archambault said. “Frankly, at a time when state funding is a challenge, this a great opportunity for WKU.”

Last semester, it was announced that the WKU Foundation has lost $5.5 million in the previous fiscal year. Additionally, WKU announced plans to reduce the 2017 budget by $6.04 million, according to the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Reduction Plan.

McAdoo said he hopes to increase foundational membership by 1,000 members this year. He said by offering members more programming and opportunities with WKU, he believes they’ll be able to increase membership.

“I feel confident in our ability to reach our goal,” McAdoo said.

He added he views the 1,000 new members as a “catalyst” for the Alumni Association, and will provide the “momentum for the organization to move forward.”

Additionally, McAdoo said he hopes to improve communication and marketing for the WKU Alumni Association, the Alumni Center and the graduates of WKU. McAdoo said he wants to engage more alumni and graduates, and ensure they’re “always promoting WKU.”

Lastly, McAdoo said the plans will focus on events, such as homecoming and alumni induction ceremonies. Additionally, he said that he wants to focus on transitioning students to alumni and maintaining involvement with WKU after graduation. This includes an alumni network available to help recent graduates with internships and job interviews.

“We’re on the move as an alumni association,” McAdoo said.

Reporter Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @monicakastwku.