As Illinois Wesleyan’s Alumni Relations Director, Adriane Powell says she “gets most excited when I can connect the dots for someone else.”
“Often, students come to our office to learn more about a profession that they’re thinking about or to ask about connecting with alumni,” she explains. “We have a talented base of Titans to draw from who are always willing to take the time to connect with students and help them in any way they can. So really, it’s just so satisfying to be able to connect people and then get out of the way and watch what happens.”
Adriane began her directorship last fall, replacing Ann Harding, who retired last year. She previously served as the office’s assistant director. A graduate of Illinois State University, where she majored in philosophy, she appreciates the dynamic role that the liberal arts can play in bringing depth and meaning to people’s lives.
Adriane works closely with the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors to meet the needs of alumni and keep them connected to each other and to the University. She notes that in the past year, the board has expanded “in both its size and diversity. We now have 36 members of our board who are each bringing their skills and expertise to help us accomplish our mission more effectively. ”
Adriane and her staff also manage volunteers in the regional alumni and affinity groups, including the Minority Alumni Network (MAN) and the Pride Alumni Community (PAC). She believes her office can play an important role in University goals such as diversity, recruitment and fundraising and sees different aspects of the Alumni Association serving as “spokes in the wheel.”
“PAC, MAN and the Council for IWU Women address the diversity piece with activities such as the Pride Summit, MAN Picnic and the annual Council for IWU Women Summit,” she says. “These events bring alumni, staff, faculty and students together to discuss current issues and to collaborate on solutions.
“Alumni should be very proud that this year’s incoming class is the most diverse in our history,” Adriane adds. “That diversity serves everyone well in this global society, and I’m excited to see that progress.”
To help with student recruitment, the Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee ”helps the Admissions Office identify alumni around the country who can assist at college fairs by communicating their IWU experience to prospective students. This also gives our alumni a chance to reflect on the importance of their education here.
“Of course, fundraising is paramount to what we do. Everything that we do goes back to one purpose, which is to contribute in a wide variety of ways toward the accomplishment of the mission of Illinois Wesleyan University: The education of undergraduates. Without the financial support of our alumni, this would be impossible,” says Adriane. “Luckily Titans understand that their investment in our students’ education is the best way to pay tribute to those who made an investment in theirs.”
A favorite part of her job so far “has been the ability to travel across the country, meet alumni and form friendships,” says Adriane. “Often we invite faculty and staff to speak at these events and give updates on campus activities.”
She reminds everyone “to contact our office if you’ve moved recently so that we can invite you to these alumni connections. I look forward to meeting you all!”