Two experienced administrators have new roles in alumni relations and development. By Keith Davis
Marsha Eger ’70 and Gretchen Van Valen, M.M. ’93—formerly executive director of alumni relations and associate director of alumni relations, respectively—have new roles in the Division of Institutional Advancement. Eger is now director of the President’s Associates Program, and Van Valen has been promoted to director of the Office of Alumni Relations.
“The tremendous talent, skill, and expertise that already exist in the areas of institutional advancement have provided a great opportunity to redefine some roles and focus on new priorities,” said Shelley Semmler, vice president for institutional advancement. “The capital campaign created momentum for the President’s Associates Program, and Marsha’s established relationships with trustees, alumni board members, parents, and alumni put her in a good position to articulate strategy and build this crucial area of fundraising. Gretchen, with more than 10 years experience in alumni relations, also enjoys lasting relationships with the alumni board, parents, and alumni. Her strategic and integrated approach to programs in this leadership position will greatly benefit the college.”
Eger was appointed executive director of alumni relations in 2006, two years after she returned to her alma mater to become director of the Ithaca Fund. A seasoned professional with nearly 30 years of development and communications experience, she chaired the class of 1970’s 30th reunion and served on the alumni association’s board of directors. She also served as a member of Ithaca’s All-College Planning and Priorities Committee and the Middle States Steering Committee. Eger is currently a member of the Longview Board of Directors and the Community Advisory Committee for the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.
Van Valen began working at the College in 1990 and received her master’s degree in music performance from the School of Music. After positions of increasing responsibility, first in the Office of the Treasurer and then in the Division of Institutional Advancement, she was appointed assistant director of alumni relations in 1999 and associate director in 2003. Her extensive service commitments to the College include membership on the All-College Planning and Prior-ties Committee, a four-year term as co-chair of the Quality of Work Life Task Force, and past adviser for Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow. She currently chairs the Trumansburg After School Program Parent Volunteer Board.