Assistant Director, Classes and Reunions

Pennsylvania, United States
25 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
25 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

The Development and Alumni Relations organization at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the premier development organizations in the world.

Penn’s Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) team members benefit from an exceptional work environment where professional excellence and individual pride in achievement are grounded in a strong institutional commitment to integrity and collegiality as we strive for collective success. For talented and innovative individuals, a career at the University of Pennsylvania offers the chance to be part of an exceptionally exciting environment at the nation’s first university.

We seek talented individuals who will constitute a community that draws on the strength that comes with a substantive institutional commitment to diversity. Diversity is prized at Penn as a central component of our mission and helps create an educational and working environment that best supports the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship.

Penn’s commitment to achieving eminence through diversity is ultimately a commitment to creating a more vibrant university so that our employees will be both stimulated and empowered to shape a better world.

The University of Pennsylvania Alumni Relations department is a customer/client focused service-oriented department whose mission is to engage all Penn alumni in a mutually beneficial, lifelong connection to each other, their school, and the University, and encourage alumni support and guidance to advance Penn’s eminence for future generations. Many of the department’s activities and programs are carried out through a network of volunteers as well as through collaboration with other University departments.

The Assistant Director works in the Office of Alumni Relations as an integral part of the Classes and Reunions Team. The Team is comprised of a Director, an Associate Director, two Assistant Directors and a Coordinator. Assistant Directors are responsible for the initiation, planning and execution of programs, activities and communications designed to inform and engage Penn Alumni undergraduate classes. They work closely with class leadership to plan reunions for their assigned classes, as well as create continuity in between reunion years to maintain their connection with their class and the University. The position works closely with their Penn Fund and Programs & Special Events partners on assigned class reunions.

The Classes and Reunions Team works with and is responsive to a diverse constituency from current Penn students and all undergraduate Classes. The Assistant Director serves as class liaison for outreach & programming for their assigned classes. This position works with class officers, key volunteers, and the campus community (Alumni Relations, Programs & Special Events, and Development colleagues)

This position will work closely with the Student Class Ambassadors/Student Reunion volunteers to coordinate their activities during the Reunion Cycle.

This position requires expert volunteer management since they will work closely with class leadership to plan reunions, as well as create continuity for assigned classes in between reunion years to maintain their connection with their class and the University. The Assistant Director will coordinate all volunteer management for assigned classes; maintain reunion budgets; work with class leaders to prepare all class communications; provide support for Class meetings throughout the year and help create volunteer roles to build strong Class committees.

The Assistant Director serves as coordinator for all their class communications – both print and electronic – in conjunction with the class volunteers, Communications and the Classes & Reunions team – often operating under tight deadlines. They design class emails and maintain assigned class web sites through IModules.

The Assistant Director will assist the Director in supporting the Alumni Class Leadership Council (ACLC) and help facilitate the ACLC mission and goals. The ACLC Board works closely with Alumni Relations to provide classes with tools for class leadership and best practices to engage alumni and fellow classmates. ACLC’s goals: Strengthen the ties between alumni classes and the University. Provide class leaders with tools, resources, and support to establish and maintain an active and engaged alumni class. Assist class leaders with developing effective communication strategies

The Assistant Director is the primary staff liaison managing all logistics for Awards, Elections and the Alumni Procession during Commencement. In this role the position works closely with the Director, ACLC President and assigned ACLC Chairs

The Assistant Director will also help to plan and staff the annual Penn Reunion Leadership Conference (PRLC), Class Presidents Event and the overall planning of Homecoming, Alumni Weekend and Volunteer Appreciation Day events.

As part of the Classes & Reunions team, work together to achieve the Class Goals during the Power of Penn campaign:

  • Increase the Number of classes that are active in-between reunions by 50%
  • Increase Undergraduate Alumni Weekend Attendance by 25%
  • Increase Number of Class Volunteers by 25%

Areas of specialization and contribution:


  • Facilitates the writing, editing, proofreading, production and mailing of class communications such as newsletters, invitations, and other materials (both print and electronic), often operating under tight deadlines. Creates emails and updates assigned class web sites through IModules in conjunction with Communications Team.
  • Drafts correspondence for volunteer leaders. Prepares remarks and briefing documents/timelines for events. Creates detailed time lines for events. Works closely with the Administrative Assistant(s), Coordinator(s) and students assigned to Classes and Reunions, on various projects. Works with other teams in Alumni Relations, as needed, on events and retreats to engage alumni volunteers who also identify with Penn by affinity or region.
  • Maintains classes reunion budgets using the budget worksheet to ensure assigned classes stay within budget. Keeps volunteers apprised of budget and costs based on the reunion events they plan together.
  • Communicates with Classes regarding the Awards and Election process.
  • Communicates with the Class Presidents to coordinate the Alumni Procession during Commencement.
  • Drafts correspondence for volunteer leaders, the director and associate directors. Prepares remarks and briefing documents for special events. Creates detailed time lines for events. Staffs, prepares agendas, and runs meetings for classes as required. Make certain meetings and communications are taking place for non-reunion leadership.


  • With regard to particular classes, Classes & Reunions team members work closely with class officers and committees to conceive and implement reunion events, activities and programs to sustain class identity and reinforce concept of lifelong connection to Penn. Some of these events may take place off-campus or in connection with other Penn activities.
  • Manages the Alumni Procession during Commencement – to include ordering robes and all logistics for this event. Draft correspondence to the Class president, identify and track alumni presence for every class year.
  • Manages the Class Officers Installation during Homecoming.
  • Key occasions that involve planning and staffing include:
  • Alumni Weekend
  • Reunions during Alumni Weekend
  • Commencement (Alumni Procession)
  • Pre Reunion Events hosted by Classes
  • Penn Reunion Leadership Conference
  • Alumni Class Leadership Council meetings and activities
  • Class Presidents Event
  • Homecoming Weekend – featuring Arts & Culture at Penn
  • Volunteer Appreciation Day
  • Non Reunion Activities / Power of Penn campaign events
  • Penn Alumni Board and Council Retreat
  • With regard to current students, the team works closely with Penn Traditions to connect students with Penn Alumni through the Class Ambassador/Penn Traditions program.

Collaborative Efforts

  • In partnership with the Department of Programs and Special Events, works with caterers, vendors, printers, and other service suppliers to plan and stage events within budget.
  • Works alongside staff in the Penn Fund and Programs and Special Events departments on reunion activities and alumni engagement events.
  • Assists Director in supporting undergraduate alumni class officers in conjunction with the Alumni Class Leadership Council (ACLC).
  • Helps to organize and staff the annual Penn Reunion Leadership Conference working with the Penn Fund.
  • Works closely with the Classes & Reunion Coordinator, Graduate Intern and Work Study students assigned to implement projects.
  • Works with other teams in the Penn Alumni Relations Office as needed on events and retreats to engage alumni volunteers who also identify with Penn by affinity or region.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Director.

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.