Starting on July 9, longtime Weber State University faculty member Nancy Collinwood will assume a new position as executive director of Alumni Relations. Collinwood said she plans to use the new position to forge a stronger connection between the Alumni Association and the rest of campus.
“I have been at Weber State for 16 years, and I’ve known Nancy for quite a while,” said Margie Esquibel, associate director of Alumni Relations at WSU. “We’re excited to have her on board. Nancy brings a lot of energy, and just her love for Weber State is really something you can’t pay money for, because she just has that instilled in her from having been a student and having worked here for so long. And she also has a lot of great connections, having worked with past student body officers.”
A WSU graduate, Collinwood submitted an application for the position as part of a national search back in February. She has been involved with Student Involvement and Leadership since 1998, serving as the director. Collinwood said she will miss many of the students and her colleagues in SIL, but that she hoped to use her new position to forge more of a connection between SIL, the Alumni Association and other areas of WSU.
“I think that, even though I’m staying at Weber State, it’s going to be hard to leave all of the students I work with on a daily basis,” she said. “But I think we’ll find new and creative ways to demonstrate the importance of alumni with all the areas on campus, and just get them all connected.”
People who have worked with Collinwood said she has been an invaluable resource for students and other staff members during her time as a faculty member at WSU, as well as a caring friend who looks out for her students and colleagues.
“In the last year, I’ve really gotten to know Nancy, which has been really great because, honestly, she’s super easy to talk to,” said Mandie Barnes, WSUSA leadership vice president. “Not only does she help us with problems and stuff with WSUSA, but she gives me a lot of advice with my personal life, which is really good, whether it be with family or friends or dating or whatever. So she’s really made it easy to build a connection with her further than just professionally.”
Aaron Newman, assistant director of SIL, has worked with Collinwood for four years, and also said he has had a positive experience working with her.
“Really it’s just how Nancy is sort of that mother, not only for students, but also for the staff, and how she treats everyone and looks out for all of us,” Newman said.
As to why she applied for the position, Collinwood said she wanted to get more involved in working with past WSU students as well as current ones.
“I think I just looked at it as a new opportunity to give back to the university and a new challenge,” Collinwood said. “I’ve just met such great students who are now alumni, and I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to work with some of our past students, as well as to continue to work with some of our current students too.”
Collinwood also talked about what her plans were when she takes the position next month.
“I would like to primarily connect the alumni with the campus and what’s going on on campus, and just that would probably be my No. 1 goal,” she said.
Newman expressed confidence in Collinwood’s abilities in her new position.
“The relationship between Student Involvement and alumni at any institution is always a pivotal one,” he said, “because, after all, we’re the area that’s working with the future alumni. Most schools I’ve worked at, it’s been a very strong and powerful relationship, and I think with Nancy working at it, it’s going to be doubly so here at Weber State University.”
Collinwood also expressed optimism and gratitude for the new position she has been given.
“I’m just really excited to still have an opportunity to be working at Weber State and to really just shift my focus from the students to the SIL to the alumni and working with the alumni program over there,” she said. “I think there will be a lot of fun things we can do to get some of the people who have graduated to be interested in coming back and participating, as well as letting the current students know what Alumni (Relations) is there to offer for them.”