Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.
This position reports directly to the Senior Director of Special Events for Alumni and Development Programs. This is a key position that will require contact with the Executive Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Development Programs, the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff to the Chancellor, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations, and other senior University officials.� Additionally, the Director will work closely with volunteers and University partners. The position is responsible for planning, coordinating, and organizing the University’s May Commencement and December Recognition ceremonies and associated programs.
PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Oversee the planning and coordination of activities necessary for Commencement and December Recognition ceremonies. Understand the philosophy for Commencement at Washington University and ensure that is the basis for all decisions regarding the programs. In this role, the Director will have direct oversight for all activities associated with the Commencement and December Recognition ceremonies.� The Director will effectively apply appropriate use of judgment, especially with issues of donor involvement and university leadership, event communication, budgetary forecasts and other areas of responsibility as appropriate.
Schedule meetings for and effectively use the Commencement Committee to strategize new ideas, gather feedback, make modifications based on feedback, identify and recruit new Commencement volunteer leadership, and keep committee members informed on all issues pertaining to Commencement and December Recognition.
Work closely with the following internal and external groups to coordinate the details of May Commencement and December recognition:
Schools/Dean's offices - Work closely to facilitate campus wide communications and decision-making for Commencement events. Coordinate faculty and student marshal appointments; coordinate and monitor event timelines; and coordinate faculty and administration participation and rental regalia services via an online system.
Senior Class officers- Develop a good working relationship with the senior class officers, especially the president, so that the Chancellor's Senior Dinner and the Senior Class President's remarks at Commencement both are a success.
Internal departments and on-campus services - Work closely with the Chancellor's Office, Board of Trustee's Office, University Registrar's Office, WashU IT, Police Department, Facilities Planning & Management, W.F.F. Services, Event Services, Parking and Transportation, Emergency Management, Purchasing, Music Department, Public Affairs, Bon Appetit Catering, and the Medical and Danforth Campus Bookstores to update procedures for the efficient provision of services to be provided for Commencement and December Recognition events.
Off-campus vendors - Maintain good working relationships with off-campus vendors who provide services for Commencement and December Recognition events, as well as communicate through written correspondence, phone conversations, and electronic mail to monitor progress of event arrangements and ensure timely set-up information, etc. Vendors include chair, carpet, security, sound, audio, golf cart, wheel chair, printing, music providers. Create a daily timeline and production schedule for vendors providing services in the Varsity Gym and Field House.
Reserve rooms for meetings and May and December Recognition events. Coordinate closely with Event Services and W.F.F. Services to ensure complete and accurate reservations and maintenance care provided for each location reserved.
Manage the staff assigned to respond to student and parent questions, concerns and requests in a timely manner and with the highest level of professional courtesy. Authority to make decisions on exceptions in response to requests and keeps supervisor informed.
Prepare procedure guide script and programs for ceremonies.� Create Commencement and December Recognition programs, collaborating with the Registrar, ensuring accuracy, for final review by the Alumni & Development administration. Recommend changes as needed.
Coordinate training dates and materials for more than 200 volunteer staff personnel. Help identify and staff key volunteer positions.
Manage the mailing and distribution of Commencement publications (printed and electronic communications).� Maintain the Commencement website by providing updates and corrections to the web editor. Work with Public Affairs to create and distribute digital and/or printed information for graduates and guests.
Negotiate and manage vendor contracts. Oversee event budget and payments. Manage RFPs for major vendors associated with Commencement.
Arrange hotel accommodations for the guest speaker and honorary degree recipients for May Commencement; order diplomas and plaques; provide travel reimbursements, as requested.
Perform other duties as assigned by the Senior Director of Special Events, Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Development Programs, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Alumni Relations, or Executive Vice Chancellor for Alumni & Development Programs.
Five years of experience in special event management, preferably in higher education or for other large organizations.
Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel for PC computers.
Significant management experience in donor relations and special events.
Microsoft Access database, Adobe InDesign, InCopy, and WordPress knowledge.
Experience managing or developing the highest level of VIP donor contact and communication, events and activities.
Experience dealing with major donors, corporate CEOs and other influential volunteers.
Experience working with external vendors to develop and negotiate contracts, event orders, etc.
Ability to accurately apply professionalism and judgment skills in all situations, especially related to management, donor issues and budgets.�
Ability to diplomatically overcome objections and effectively persuade both internal and external constituents, including key donors and volunteers.�
Outstanding verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.�
Ability to communicate professionally and persuasively with wealthy and important individuals.�
Ability to take charge and manage significant administrative projects, make important decisions, and design and implement new programs.�
Mature individual with knowledge of University systems and personnel.
Ability to work collegially and build effective relationships with Alumni & Development Programs staff and across the University.�
Experience with computer technologies and sophisticated software applications.�
Extraordinary attention to detail.�
Extraordinary ability to deal with multiple, competing priorities with minimal supervision.�
Ability and flexibility to work outside of the normal workday/office hours, including evenings and weekends.
All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.
Internal Applicant Instruction:
Please attach a copy of your most current signed performance evaluation (completed within the last 18 months) to your online account. If you have not received a performance evaluation, you may provide two current signed letters of recommendation (written within the last 18 months), preferably to include one letter from either a current or recent former supervisor. To attach these documents, go to: My Career Tools, Add Attachment, Attachment Type – Performance Reviews or Letters of Recommendation.
This position is full-time and works approximately 37.5 hours per week.
Department Name/Job Location:
This position is in the Department of Alumni & Development Programs. This position is for the Danforth Campus.
Washington University in St. Louis, a medium-sized, independent university, is dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The University offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields, with additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs. The faculty is composed of scholars, scientists, artists and members of the learned professions. They serve society by teaching; by adding to the store of human art, creativity, understanding, and wisdom; and by providing direct services, such as health care.