NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz named Rayna J. Wendell to be its director for alumni affairs after completing a nationwide search. She will begin her new duties in late February.
Wendell has more than eight years of experience in university administration, the last four with the Pennsylvania State University Alumni Association. At Penn. State, she began as the assistant director of alumni relations and is currently a regional director, responsible for serving as the liaison for more than 100 affiliated alumni groups across the country. Before joining Penn. State, she was the associate director for university events at The College of William and Mary in Virginia, where much of her work focused on the college’s 300th anniversary.
“Alumni play such an important role in the life of a higher education institution, and it is a joy to interact with them — connecting them to their alma mater as well as with each other,” says Wendell. “SUNY New Paltz is in the midst of a very exciting time and I look forward to developing many new friendships and enhancing alumni programming at the university.”
The SUNY New Paltz Alumni Association, with 40,000 alumni, includes nine chapters serving 12 states.
“Our alumni are really partners that help move the university to new levels of excellence,” said Vice President for Advancement Jim Doran. “Rayna has proven experience and drive to bolster that partnership.”
In addition to expanding the breadth of alumni activities and involvement, Doran says Wendell’s experience with the William and Mary tercentenary celebration will be a real benefit to New Paltz as it begins to plan the celebration of the university’s 175th anniversary in 2003.
Wendell earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Penn. State in 1992. Her husband Steve is currently finishing his degree at the Dickinson School of Law, after which he will join her in New York.