Alumni News

Alumni Chief Executive Named

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Photo by Ron Bergeron, UNH Photographic Services
Ernie Gale joins the UNH Alumni Association

A leader with extensive experience in the nation's largest alumni program has joined the University of New Hampshire as executive director of the Alumni Association. Ernie Gale, director of volunteer management and global outreach and the former director of alumni programs for the Penn State Alumni Association, oversees UNH's outreach programs for its more than 90,000 alumni, 39,000 of whom live in New Hampshire.

A graduate of Penn State, Gale has managed alumni programs for that university's more than 400,000 alumni for the last eight years. He has coordinated the activities of the university's 180 alumni chapters and 28 college and constituency groups, managing 20 staff members and 2,000 volunteers. He has also supervised a variety of Penn State's other alumni programs such as career services, continuing and distance education, reunions and homecomings.

UNH President Joan Leitzel is confident about the new executive director's ability to strengthen relations with one of the University's most important constituencies--its alumni. "The commitment of our alumni and their involvement in the life of the University of New Hampshire are extremely important to the university's future," she says. "Ernie Gale's rich experience at Penn State in the area of alumni program development guarantees a very active alumni association at UNH under his leadership. We feel very fortunate to have attracted him to this position. "

The University's academic reputation, the quality of life in southeastern New Hampshire, and the challenge of taking the UNH Alumni Association to the next level of success are what first attracted Gale to the position in New Hampshire. President Leitzel's vision for the University and the role she sees for its alumni also influenced his decision to come here.

"I see my role as a facilitator to focus the energies of the Alumni Association's volunteer leadership and its staff in helping the university move ahead. Alumni are the most dependable resource for any university, " explains Gale. "At Penn State we have been on the cutting edge in developing innovative programs and services to meet the needs of alumni, to connect them with one another and to their alma mater. I'm anxious to share these concepts with my new colleagues at UNH."

President of the UNH Alumni Association's Board of Directors Edwinna Vanderzanden '80 says Gale possesses a broad understanding of the challenges the University faces in establishing and maintaining connections with an alumni population that is increasingly pressed by the demands of family, career and community. "We look forward to applying his enthusiasm and energy to leading the alumni to become the enormous force for good for the university and alumni that we know it can be," she says.

Gale is optimistic about the opportunity to build on the University's successes. "Two of the most important factors that contribute to a strong alumni relations program are tradition of the institution and the loyalty of the alumni. At UNH I see both these factors in great abundance, " he says. "UNH is fortunate to have a very dedicated alumni body which will be a definite asset in the institution's quest to become a preeminent public research university."

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