Gretchen Van Valen

Retired Director, Alumni and Family Engagement, Engagement
School: School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Gretchen Van Valen MM ’90, retired as the Director of Alumni and Family Engagement on May 27, 2022. Gretchen has spent more than 32 years at Ithaca College creating a more engaged and active alumni community.

Gretchen came to Ithaca College in 1988, received her Master of Music degree from the School of Music and started working in the college’s treasurer’s office as a Financial Office Assistant in 1990. In 1997, Gretchen became the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of College Relations (now Philanthropy and Engagement,) during which she served on the Ithaca College Institutional Planning and Priorities Committee and co-chaired the Quality of Work Life Committee. Gretchen was promoted to Assistant Director of Reunions in 1999 in Alumni Relations and within a few years was promoted to Associate Director of Alumni Relations. In 2010, she was promoted to Director of Alumni Relations and served in a variety of progressively responsible roles after. In 2019, Gretchen became the Director of Alumni and Family Engagement, responsible for setting the vision and guiding the strategic development, implementation and management of the college’s comprehensive alumni, family, and Friends of Ithaca College programs.

Her work of service has encompassed the Ithaca College Institutional Planning and Priorities Committee and Co-Chair of the Quality of Work Life Committee (1998-2002,) Experiential Learning Alliance, Life After IC Committee, and serving on a working group in the development of the Ithaca Forever Strategic Plan. Her professional affiliations include serving on the executive board of the Association of Private College and University Alumni Directors, presenting at Graduway Global Leaders’ Summits and participation in the Council for the Advancement and Support or Education. Her volunteer activities include serving on the Executive Committee of the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts in Trumansburg, NY where she and her family live.

Gretchen and her husband, John, have six children, five of whom attended IC: Katie Van Valen ’16, Jonathan Van Valen ’19, and graduates Ryan DeBolt ’18, Kara Van Valen ’20, and Aidan DeBolt ’21. While retiring from employment at IC, Gretchen intends to remain an active and involved alumnus and parent. Ithaca College may also have another Bomber in it's future as Gretchen and John's son, Quinn Van Valen, begins his college search.