What brought you to Hamilton?
I came from Minneapolis/St. Paul, where I worked at The University of Minnesota as executive assistant to the chief of staff in the president’s office. Before that, I was the executive assistant to the dean of the law school, who at that time was David Wippman, our current Hamilton president. When President Wippman came to Hamilton, he brought the chief of staff, Nora Klaphake, from the law school and asked me if I was interested in joining his staff here as well. Although David is an awesome boss and even better person, I didn’t feel that I was ready at that time to make such a major move.
However, a year later, the executive assistant in the President’s Office decided to leave. David and Nora reached out to see if I would be interested in coming to work with them at Hamilton. I jumped at the opportunity to see two of my favorite former colleagues and to visit Hamilton. Let’s just say that after my short trip to Clinton, within two months I was driving 1,700 miles to my new home in Upstate New York. I started at Hamilton exactly six years ago this week. It was the beauty of the campus and the beauty of the people that got me here and what has kept me here.
How will your role in the President’s Office inform your work as director of alumni relations?
In the President’s Office, I’ve had the benefit of meeting and interacting with all members of the community — current students, future students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, administration, villagers, various institutions, and more. These exchanges are what keep my battery going. It has always been in my wheelhouse to make the “customers’” experience one in which they walk away feeling heard, even with differing outcomes. I want to continue to use my skills to connect and provide positive interactions that promote support for Hamilton.
“There is something special on the Hill. We all arrive as strangers and manage to find our people.”
What does your new position entail?
It is my job to engage Hamilton’s alumni and parents and build meaningful relationships through communications and events. I will work closely with the Advancement events team, other Advancement colleagues, and alumni committees to create, promote, and facilitate experiences virtually, regionally, and for milestone weekends such as Reunions and Fallcoming.
What do you look forward to in your new role?
I am most looking forward to connecting with and creating bonds with the people who call Hamilton “home” no matter how far away they are. My predecessor [Sharon Rippey P’12] left a lasting impact at Hamilton and within the alumni community. As the saying goes, I have big shoes to fill. My hope is to build on that legacy and grow it. There is opportunity for improved processes and more collaborations that can only reinforce the connection with the alumni community. The foundation is there. It helps that our alumni are eager to remain connected to Hamilton and want to continue to make memories, support their alma mater, and find new ways to champion for future generations.
What is your favorite part about working at Hamilton?
The People. The People. The People. I’ve said it a million times and have heard it a million times, but that is because it’s true. I recently met a visiting high school student and the first thing that she shared was how great the people on campus that she met are. During the last six years, my relationships with coworkers and even my student interns have transformed into friendships that I look forward to maintaining for years to come. There is something special on the Hill. We all arrive as strangers and manage to find our people; people soon become lifelong friends and family. We may from time to time disagree, but we always come together when it matters.