Jennifer Savino, former Associate Director of Alumni Engagement, assumed her new role as the Director of of Alumni Engagement last Wednesday after 13 years of working with Phillips Academy and Abbot Academy alums.
As the new Director of Alumni Engagement, Savino will be directly involved in creating new strategies to increase participation in alumni events. She will work closely with Head of School John Palfrey and Thomas Lockerby, the Secretary of the Academy, to get more alumni involved both on and off campus.
“We will be looking at two buckets or focuses of programming. One will be alumni programming ‘on the hill’ and then alumni programming ‘off the hill’: bringing alumni back to campus and how we connect them to each other or to the school off the campus,” said Savino.
“My job here is not about my experiences… [it] is about all of the… alumni experiences and connecting them from those experiences to the school,” she continued.
Savino began working at Andover in October 2002. During her first few years at Andover, Savino spearheaded the Young Alumni Program on campus, which aims to keep young alumni connected to the school upon their graduation.
After four years of working as the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement, Savino became the Associate Director, where she organized over 160 alumni events each year including the regional and international gatherings based on affinity groups, The Phillipian, alumni veterans and Abbot Academy alumnae, among others.
“At this point after this many years, I’ve done a little bit of everything and did a lot of programming—both general programming for alumni and then class-specific and other demographic-specific programming,” said Savino.
Among the numerous tasks at the Alumni Engagement Office, Savino especially enjoyed learning and hearing the unique stories that each Andover graduate shared with her.
“The number one thing about working with alumni is learning their Andover stories. They all had different paths going through here,” said Savino.
As a graduate of Lawrenceville, Savino admitted that the prospect of working at a school she did not attend initially seemed daunting. She said, however, that her experiences at Lawrenceville have helped her empathize with Andover students, faculty and alumni.
“[Savino] has been an effective, hard-working manager of a wide range of alumni programs who works smoothly with faculty, administrators and staff here on campus. She is well-liked and respected by alumni of all ages, who enjoy her outgoing personality and personal charm. Particularly since she has been Associate Director, she has shown sound, mature judgement in working with our wide-ranging constituencies,” said Dick Howe, another Associate Director of Alumni Engagement.
One of Savino’s long-term goals as the new Director is to bring greater awareness to current students and faculty about Andover’s alumni network, as well as strengthen the existing relationship between the school and its alumni.
“I would love for students and faculty to feel a direct connection or the ability to connect with alumni,” Savino said. “You don’t have to be an alumnus to connect with the alumni community.”
Furthermore, Savino hopes that stronger alumni connections and communities will be formed and that more alumni will share their personal Andover stories with each other.
“I am looking forward to working on a strategy that promotes lifetime engagement for our alumni. This entails expanding the connections across our alumni [network] with different programs at different points in their adult life… with these treasured partnerships, we will develop a program that connects the students to alumni, alumni to alumni and alumni to the school,” wrote Savino in an email to The Phillipian.