Jodi Rowe was named IWU’s assistant vice president of alumni engagement. Formerly
Blackburn College’s executive director of annual giving and alumni affairs, Jodi brings
seven years of alumni relations and annual-giving experience to the new position.
“I am quite pleased that we were able to find a candidate with Jodi’s breadth of experience
in both alumni relations and fundraising,” said IWU’s Vice President for Advancement
Marty Smith. “By combining our Alumni Office and the Wesleyan Fund under her leadership,
we’ll create greater synergy in the work we do engaging our alumni.”
Rowe began her career at Blackburn in 2008 as manager of alumni relations and became
director of annual giving in 2011. She was named executive director, overseeing both
areas in 2014. In this position, she had a broad range of responsibilities including
the annual fund campaign, coordination of internal fundraising, alumni events and
reunions and overseeing the Phon-a-Thon program.
Jodi earned her undergraduate degree in political science from Blackburn College in
2004 and her master’s in higher education administration from McKendree University
in 2014. She has also taken courses in fundraising management at The Lilly Family
School of Philanthropy at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.
We caught up with Jodi at the Hansen Student Center to ask her about her new job:
From your perspective and experience, how do alumni relations and the Wesleyan Fund
relate to one another? How can each one make the other stronger?
Alumni relations and the Wesleyan Fund go hand in hand; each lays the foundation for
a successful advancement program and engage each other to create a fulfilling alumni
experience with the institution.
Do you see similarities between Blackburn and IWU?
There is something really special about the relationships that are fostered at private
liberal arts colleges; the involvement of the students, faculty and staff builds a
community that remains intact beyond the campus and commencement day. Blackburn and
IWU are very similar in that regard.
What are your priorities starting out?
Currently I am getting to know the team and the Alumni Association Board of Directors,
as well as learning a lot about the culture of IWU. This time spent is helping to
develop a comprehensive plan to fully integrate the two offices into the Office of
Alumni Engagement. Our team is my greatest asset to making this merger a success.
Van Miller (Wesleyan Fund director) and Adriane Powell (Alumni Relations director)
will continue in their traditional roles; the merger will effect more of how we plan
I have long admired Illinois Wesleyan and look forward to getting to know alumni and
friends in the weeks and months ahead.