Associate Director of Class Engagement

Posted on 06/17/2019

Darden School Foundation

Charlottesville, VA

The Darden School Foundation has an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated professional to join its Office of Engagement team. The Associate Director of Class Engagement, working closely with the Senior Director of Engagement, provides leadership and vision to plan and execute a strategy for key projects including Alumni Reunion, Annual Meeting and Celebration, Second Year Send Off, Parent and Family Weekend and other programs and events for alumni and students. This position manages all programming and logistics for key projects, events and administrative matters (reporting, budgeting, etc.) and serves as the day to day contact for external and internal stakeholders. The Associate Director manages several key volunteer relationships.


An ideal candidate will have at least five or more years of relevant event and volunteer management experience and customer service, and a demonstrated ability to plan and execute events and successfully build relationships and programs. The Associate Director should exhibit the credibility and sophistication to effectively engage and leverage key internal and external stakeholders and should also have the detail orientation and flexibility required to manage changing and varied priorities.

Responsibilities include coordination and execution of alumni programs and activities including reunions, annual meeting, parent and family weekend and second year/graduation events, including management of logistics with vendors and stakeholders; building relationships with alumni to advance the mission and fundraising goals of Darden; and actively cultivating, soliciting and stewarding long term volunteer relationships.

The Associate Director develops and maintains cooperative and collaborative relationships and programs with school units, such as admissions, the Dean’s office, and the career development center. The Associate Director is responsible for the execution of strategy developed with the Senior Director of Engagement, strategically mapping-out a program schedule and timeline and ensuring it is followed for all programs and events. This position suggests innovative plans and processes to improve program functions, helping to connect more alumni to Darden through engagement. The Associate Director should enjoy a high-functioning, fast-paced team environment.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

Event Management

  • Serve as the key program/event manager for on-Grounds alumni events, working in coordination with other key staff (Faculty, Development, Admissions, Alumni Career Services, etc.)
  • Plan and manage all details from program design to day of execution for the Annual Reunion, Annual Meeting and Celebration, etc.
  • Manage programming and coordination for Parent and Family Weekend and assist with other Family and Friends events as needed
  • Working with the Senior Director, design new and interesting programs to attract alumni to Grounds with a goal of increased engagement
  • Plan year end student events which introduces current students to the opportunities afforded them as alumni
  • Assist the Senior Director with event cost reporting and budgeting
  • Oversee relationships and logistics management with outside vendors
  • Create online registration for events (work with IT for complex events); assist alumni with registration questions and concerns
  • Monitor event registrations and report progress to Senior Director
  • Manage social media accounts promoting events (Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Develop a strategic plan for communications and draft communications to alumni via email, mailings and brochures; revamp marketing as required. Coordinate email segments and segments with the Assistant Director for Alumni Communications
  • Support pre-reunion class events in regions
  • Build non-reunion year attendance at reunions and remote access to spring event (offsite reunions, livestream)
  • Support reunion event hosts (alumni) by providing registration numbers, catering and rental assistance, facilitating reimbursements, etc.
  • Coordinate staffing of events (volunteer and staff)

Alumni Engagement

  • Manage changes in alumni leadership and ensure that changes are reflected accurately – Leadership Lounge, investor report, website, etc.
  • Work with Class Secretaries to solicit bi-annual class notes; compile and edit updates for Alumni Magazine
  • Collaborate with Annual Fund for Second Year Class Gift and participate in selection process for the class secretaries
  • Work with volunteer leadership to build an active volunteer structure to better involve and engage members of the alumni body
  • Collaborate with Associate Director of Alumni and Friends Engagement for synergy and innovation

Volunteer Management

  • Manage and support the engagement of more than 100 class secretaries in their efforts to drive class engagement
  • Collaborate with Annual Fund for class secretary/class agent synergies and joint communications
  • Build reunion committees; train and support more than 175 reunion committee volunteers each year
  • Provide class specific engagement data (alumni in the news, class notes metrics, etc.) to class secretaries; post alumni news on website
  • With the Senior Director and Annual Fund, solicit class secretaries for class gift
  • Manage volunteer relationships and initiate transitions as needed

Education / Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of related work in alumni relations, event management, volunteer management, project management, customer service, or non-profit management
  • Advanced degree a plus

Qualifications / Abilities:

  • Strong communication skills; excellent oral and written communication ability. Professional and sophisticated presentation.
  • Above average interpersonal skills; ability to relate to people of diverse backgrounds, education, and experience and establish and maintain effective relationships.
  • Above-average organizational skills.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously and remain cognizant of deadlines and schedules.
  • Ability to respond promptly to constituent needs and solicit constituent feedback to improve service; service-oriented attitude is essential.
  • Ability to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner; gather and analyze information skillfully; good judgment.
  • Ability to provide leadership, handle multiple priorities and work under pressure.
  • Ability to demonstrate initiative and manage details within the broader vision of the school.
  • Superior project management and a track record of program development and implementation.
  • Attentiveness to detail and highly developed computer skills.
  • Openness to new ideas and their implementation; ability to react and adapt to changing situations appropriately.
  • Ability to provide the best quality product available and continuously upgrade standards to maintain quality.
  • Should be creative, inspiring and possess problem-solving skills and work well with others in a team-oriented organization.


  • Oversee the management of seasonal temps and interns as required.

Skills / Certifications:

  • Proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and database software.
  • Skill in exercising a high degree of initiative, judgment, discretion and decision-making to achieve organizational objectives.
  • Familiarity with Advance, iModules and SalesForce a plus.


  • Contact with faculty, alumni, students, volunteers, and staff.
  • Contact with various Board and Committee members.
  • Contact with external vendors.


  • Occasional evening or weekend work may be necessary.

To apply for this job please visit