Stofan leads alumni relations office into the new year

January 2, 2013 11:00 AM

Fran Simon
fsimon@tulane.edu

James Stofan

James E. Stofan, vice president of alumni relations, places a high priority on strengthening relationships with alumni volunteers. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


James E. Stofan, who joined Tulane University during the fall semester as the new vice president of alumni relations, has placed a high priority on strengthening relationships with alumni volunteers from the outset.

"I enjoy working with alumni volunteers because they are passionate about the institution, and they have a range of expertise they can lend,” he says. “It’s important that they are seen as true partners and have meaningful roles.”

Stofan previously served as Vanderbilt University’s associate vice chancellor of alumni relations.

“I’ve been on a ‘listening tour’ of the campus, meeting with the Tulane leadership team to map out the future of our alumni programs,” Stofan said, “and I’m especially eager to hear and learn from our alumni.”

Stofan has spent his entire career at universities, first in student activities and then in alumni relations. He decided to pursue a university-based career right out of college because, he said, “being around faculty keeps you smart and being around students keeps you young.”

At Vanderbilt, Stofan scored a trifecta of “firsts”: the first comprehensive strategic planning process for the alumni relations program, the first $100,000 endowed scholarship campaign with African American alumni, and the first initiative to use social media tools to engage alumni more comprehensively. 

Before Vanderbilt, he spent 10 years directing alumni relations for the University of California, where he coordinated more than 10 campus alumni programs representing more than 1.5 million alumni worldwide.

Stofan plans to use a data-driven approach to guide the Tulane alumni relations office and will be sending out a survey to alumni soon. In collaboration with the Tulane Alumni Association board of directors, he will be formulating a three-year strategic plan.


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