Hitting the Ground Running

adrienne-walsh-gibsonIn early November 2016, following a competitive search, Adrienne Walsh Gibson ’02 was named executive director for Alumnae and Parent Engagement and The Scripps Fund. As such, she is the College’s chief Alumnae Relations staff member. She assumed her new role on December 1.

Gibson graduated from Scripps with a degree in arts management and has worked in the College’s Office of Institutional Advancement since 2005 in a variety of positions, first as assistant director of Annual Giving and later as associate director of Reunion Giving, associate director of Alumnae Relations, and associate director of Gift Planning. She is eager to draw on her comprehensive experience as she leads the Alumnae and Parent Engagement and The Scripps Fund teams. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to put my skill set to work for an institution I’m so passionate about,” she says.

Gibson steps into her role at a time when alumni gift participation is on the decline at colleges nationwide. Over the past decade, Scripps has seen a decrease in the number of alumnae who give. To address this decline, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Michael Archibald appointed Gibson and Merrilee Stewart Howard ’70 to co-chair an ad hoc committee on alumnae engagement and participation. Beginning in March 2016, Gibson and Howard led a team of 22 alumnae volunteers in identifying reasons for the waning participation of alumnae in the life of the College. This past fall, the committee identified three areas of opportunity to increase alumnae engagement—findings that are central to Gibson’s vision.

Connection Equals Participation Alumnae are more likely to give when they feel connected to the College. Gibson hopes to promote the value of volunteerism and foster connection by increasing opportunities for lifelong learning and engagement with Scripps through effective regional programming and digital outreach.

Targeting and Segmentation Just as Scripps students are not all the same, neither are Scripps alumnae. Gibson plans to implement more varied and individualized approaches to engage and communicate with the diverse alumnae audience.

Tell Our Stories There is value in building a collective Scripps narrative that draws on unique alumnae stories; Gibson wants to highlight more of these experiences.

Gibson is enthusiastic about the opportunities that the committee findings present. “It is an exciting time to work at Scripps, and I want to help build the strong connections that will undoubtedly amplify the remarkable talent, loyalty, and generosity of this fabulous community,” she says.


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