In an effort to keep parents and alumni connected to the CC experience, the Advancement Division has reorganized several positions.
As of October 2016, the Office of Alumni Relations became the Office of Alumni and Family Relations. This transition integrates parent programs into the broad spectrum of work conducted by the Advancement Division, where the strategic emphasis is on lifelong relationship-building beyond the four years parents are affiliated with the college through their students. Debra Zarecky, director of parent and family relations, now has her office in Tutt Alumni House as part of the Advancement team.
The college strives to craft specialized programming that serves both parents and alumni. This shift in focus started in 2013 when Homecoming festivities were split into two separate, more targeted events — with parents being served by Family and Friends Weekend, and alumni during Homecoming Weekend.
Anita Pariseau, director of alumni relations and assistant vice president of advancement, has included parents in lifelong learning offerings that expose participants to Block Plan-style learning through the Block Break Away program, as well as regional academic events, since beginning her role in 2013. Nearly 400 alumni and parents have participated in such programs thus far.
A new assistant director of student and family programs who will report directly to the director of parent and family relations will start work Jan. 9, 2017; this is not a new position but rather a restructuring of the assistant director of student and young alumni programs position once occupied by Heidi Knous. When Knous vacated that role earlier this year, the office took time to evaluate how best to serve growing demand for and emphasis on parent-specific programs.
The focus on young alumni will continue through existing on-campus, off-campus, and career initiatives led by staff on the alumni team. The reorganization allows Zarecky and her new team member to work among campus colleagues who do similar external engagement and relationship cultivation work, and provides the collaboration and creativity of a larger office.