LEE COUNTY — Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC) has named Gretchen VanValkenburg as executive director of Advancement and Community Relations.
VanValkenburg brings more than two decades of experience working in higher education advancement and development. She assumed the role on May 13 and will direct and implement a comprehensive strategic plan for all fundraising, marketing and community engagement initiatives as well as serve as the liaison to the Southern Union Foundation board.
“We are excited to welcome Gretchen as our new Executive Director of Advancement,” said SUSCC President Todd Shackett. “The college has placed a renewed emphasis on raising awareness and support for our Foundation, and Gretchen brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm for this effort.”
VanValkenburg most recently served as the vice president of engagement and executive director at Auburn University’s Alumni Association, where she spearheaded initiatives to cultivate and fortify relationships across all Auburn constituencies, enhancing engagement and fostering enduring connections with alumni, parents, donors and fans.
Before joining the staff at Auburn, she served as executive director of development and alumni engagement at the University of West Florida.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Southern Union family and applaud President Shackett’s vision to create this critical role for an institution that has loyally served citizens, strengthened communities and transformed lives throughout East Alabama for more than 100 years,” VanValkenburg said. “It will be gratifying to work with such a deeply committed foundation board, staff, alumni and friends to attract much deserved philanthropic investments for its continued success.”
The Southern Union Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established to support and foster the educational and service programs and activities of SUSCC. The Foundation increases educational access for students through financial support and enables the college to initiate innovative projects to enhance the quality of education.