June 20, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – After decades of service to Illinois Wesleyan, Ann Harding retired this month as director of Alumni Relations.
Harding took on her first role at IWU in 1988: the new position of internship coordinator in the Career Center. Soon she was forging connections with IWU alumni and other professionals around the world, linking them with current students in need of practical experience.
Those connections with alumni continued after her promotion to assistant director at the Career Center. She took on leadership of Alumni Relations in 2006.
Her many initiatives to keep alumni connected to their alma mater included creation of several affinity groups that unite alumni with common interests. Among those groups is the Council for IWU Women, founded by Marsha Guenzler-Stevens '78.
Guenzler-Stevens credits Harding with helping the council and other alumni groups get off the ground. Much of that success, says Guenzler-Stevens, is due to Harding's ability to connect with the University community, including relationships with students she formed at the Career Center.
Harding also made significant changes to Homecoming. With help from the Dean of Students' Office, her team of staff and volunteers put together a slate of family-friendly events that appeal to alumni and their families as well as current students.
Harding plans to stay involved with IWU and keep in touch with alumni across the country. "We formed more than just a professional relationship," she says. "We formed friendships."
A national search has begun for Harding's successor.