SEMO picks director of alumni relations

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Jay Wolz

A national search for a director of alumni relations and annual giving at Southeast Missouri State University has turned out a local choice.

Jay Wolz of Cape Girardeau will begin in the position April 9. Wolz goes to the university with 25 years of experience in marketing and communications and is known locally for involvement with the United Way and other civic organizations.

Wolz said Monday following an announcement by the university that the job is a great match for him.

"I've always felt really close to the university," Wolz said, referring to his status as an alumnus and his four generations of family who are alumni or currently enrolled.

According to a news release from the university, Wolz will be responsible for administration and evaluation of the alumni program; identifying and cultivating relationships with key alumni; coordinating on- and off-campus events for alumni; serving as a liaison between the Alumni Association board and university community; coordinating Homecoming activities; managing an alumni-student mentorship program; providing leadership to the Student Alumni Association; implementing annual fundraising strategies and managing the annual fund coordinator and student call center.

Shad Burner recently resigned from the position to begin a career in real estate.

Wolz worked previously as a marketing manager for SoutheastHEALTH and an assistant director of marketing for Saint Francis Medical Center in addition to several other roles in health care marketing and communications.

"A lot of what I have been doing over the past five, 10, even 15 years, has been focused on customer service, and that is what alumni relations focuses on a lot as well," Wolz said.

He said he hopes to connect with graduates of all ages and existing students through the continued use of traditional methods, social media and the student alumni association.

"I feel like the key to getting alumni to give back financially is getting them really engaged in the university community," he said.

Wolz declined to specify any specific plans to grow membership or raise funds, citing the need to first work with university staff. But he has already been talking generalities for strategies to see the engagement happens, he said.

Bill Holland, the executive director of the Southeast Missouri State University and vice president of university advancement, said Wolz's position is one that is important to the university and that the search for a new director turned up three outstanding finalists, Holland said.

"We were blessed and fortunate to have that caliber of people interested," he said. "Jay brings a unique level of understanding of the university as an alum, a parent and as someone who has worked with businesses who have interfaced with the university, so he brings a very unique perspective to the vision and the necessity of a strong alumni association."

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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