By Samantha Simon
Recently, the department previously named University Relations has undergone a name change to now be known as University Advancement.
The name change was a collaboration of all parties involved in the advancement team.
Colleen Garland, vice president of university advancement, said development in the past 30 years has been changing as a profession.
Today, many universities today do not have a university relations department, but rather a university advancement department.
Garland said development is changing as a whole.
“(It’s) moving beyond the notion of ‘friend raising’ and developing relationships with alumni in hopes that donations would follow to a much more intentional and thoughtful engagement of alumni, parents and friends to help move the university forward in some way,” she said.
Garland said the involvement of university supporters is important in a variety of ways.
“Whether it’s providing career opportunities through internships or informational interviews with our students, to the recruitment of prospective students and of course lending financial support, alumni, parents and friends remain a crucial part of strength of OWU,” she said.
Garland also said that as their team worked to create a mission statement early in the year, it became clear that they wanted to create a name change.
Garland said they wanted a more descriptive name for their work division.
University Advancement includes many different divisions within their department.
The department includes alumni relations, annual giving, development services, foundations and corporation and major giving.
Phonathon coordinator, Ashley Waltermeyer works within annual giving.
“I feel the university is trying to literally advance itself through travel-learning courses, course connections and theory to practice opportunities,” she said.
“It made perfect sense to change the name of the office that makes these initiatives possible.”
Waltermeyer also said she felt like it was the right time to make the change, having many new employees onboard it brought the staff together, to work to establish their goals.
Ed Lenane led the team in developing a mission statement for University Advancement.
“The University Advancement Division is dedicated to advancing and championing the mission of Ohio Wesleyan University as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions,” the statement reads.
“Grounded in the University’s strategic priorities, University Advancement seeks to engage alumni, students, families, friends and organizations in the life of the institution through meaningful volunteer involvement, partnership and financial support.
“We strive to promote and sustain strong relationships with Ohio Wesleyan University and between all Battling Bishops.”
Garland said the team presented the mission statement and the name change to the board of trustees earlier in the year, which was unanimously approved.