Every month, Andover alumni from around the world reconnect at reunions ranging from on-campus basketball games to dinners in New York and London. Up until her retirement on Thursday, Gail Wozniak, Assistant Director for Alumni Engagement, organized these alumni meet-ups.
During her 15 years in her role at the Office of Alumni Affairs, Wozniak has worked with Phillips Academy Public Safety (PAPS), the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), Paresky Commons and various other groups on campus to make sure all alumni gatherings run smoothly.
“The people that I’ve worked with, both on campus and the alumni that I’ve made relationships with over the years, [are] such a wonderful group of people and [are] so dedicated to Andover,” she said.
Wozniak was in charge of off-campus and weekend reunions and handled alumni events in places such as Chelsea Piers in New York City and Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
In addition to meeting with faculty and staff, Wozniak was constantly in touch with the Alumni Class Committees to plan large events like 25th and 50th year reunions.
“[They were] people that wanted to be with each other, kind of like a destination vacation, but yet with Andover being behind it… I just got to go to all of these wonderful places: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Florida, [Washington] D.C., Houston and Dallas. It was just a wonderful opportunity for me to travel,” said Wozniak.
Putting together a successful reunion involves coordinating many moving parts, but Wozniak will be remembered at the Alumni Office for her skill in pulling these events together.
“She’s been overseeing reunion weekends for many years, and she’s calm under pressure, because there is always some sort of curveball that is thrown. She knows how to roll with the punches when things get a little crazy,” said Deborah Murphy ’86, Director of Alumni Engagement, who has worked with Wozniak for six years.
“I will miss most the level of commitment that she brings to the work that she does and the great pride that she takes in her work,” Murphy continued.
Peter Ramsey, Secretary of the Academy, said, “I think that the fun we’ve had is, in a sense, the pleasure of mutually seeing things done beautifully, done very well and people being excited about them. [An] event at Chelsea Piers for example, years ago, was the first time Andover had an alumni audience of that size outside of school. It was fantastic, and so, I think those are the kinds of things that I remember and that I think that she and I enjoyed.”
The event at Chelsea Piers in 2000 was Andover’s biggest alumni event, with 800 people in attendance.
“A number of alums have really been appreciative for the ideas for their reunion weekend celebrations that have come from the meetings and conversations facilitated by Gail. That’s why there are many, many people who are letting her know that they’ll miss her,” Ramsey said.
After her 15 years at Andover, Wozniak hopes to spend time with her two granddaughters. An avid quilter, she also plans on quilting with her friends. Wozniak signed up for the temporary positions list, so it is not unlikely that the Andover community will see her back on campus in the future.