If you’ve attended Homecoming, Convocation, Grad Send-Off or any on-campus alumni event over the past six years, chances are you’ve experienced the handiwork of Christine Richard.
The student and alumni engagement officer’s efforts to ensure every Brock occasion is memorable has not gone unnoticed at the University and recently drew the attention of a national organization.
Known for her can-do attitude and skills for building alumni engagement, Richard was recognized on June 6 by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) as a Rising Star for being a dedicated, creative advancement professional making a mark in alumni relations and imaginative event planning.
“We are very proud of Christine’s achievements, accomplishments and successes that led to winning this prestigious Rising Star Award,” said Pamela Shanks, Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations.
Richard said she is honoured to be recognized for playing a role at Brock that she is grateful to have.
“To be able to collaborate with such fantastic colleagues and inspiring student and alumni volunteers to build a great Brock reputation is a task I am very passionate about,” she said after her trip to Halifax to receive the award at the annual CCAE conference.
As Brock’s inaugural Alumni and Student Engagement Officer, Richard faced the large task of establishing student programming and alumni engagement. In addition to managing the Student Alumni Association, Richard frequently connects with departments such as Career Services, Athletics and senior administration to seek out new opportunities to involve alumni at community events.
“Christine has shown remarkable skill in identifying and cultivating department synergies and collaborations to help achieve her mandate,” said Shelley Huxley, Director of Alumni Relations. “She has done an excellent job of working with campus colleagues to further alumni engagement strategies and has been very successful in identifying students as future Brock alumni leaders.”
Under her leadership, Grad Send-Off — an annual celebration for the graduating class in collaboration with the Alumni Office, Career Education Office and the Goodman School of Business Career Office — has grown from 350 attendees in 2015 to 1,200 in 2018, representing a total of 30 per cent of the graduating class.
She was responsible for the delivery of alumni programming at Brock’s signature Homecoming event, the Steel Blade tailgate party and hockey game, which was the best-attended university hockey game in Ontario history, with 4,975 fans participating in 2017.
Although she has worked on other events, like the 50th Anniversary Homecoming Red Dinner for more than 500 guests, and Brock Night at the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, Richard focuses on partnering with the undergraduate and graduate students’ associations on events and activities.
“The most rewarding part of my role is working with Brock student volunteers. These students are inspiring leaders and have a huge impact on the success of the programming our office offers,” she said.
With a successful 2018 Grad Send-Off and Spring Convocation behind her, Richard now has her sights set on delivering the best Homecoming weekend yet.
“All alumni and family members are invited to register to join us on Sept. 21 and 22 to celebrate Homecoming weekend,” she said. “From reunions to athletic events, entertainment to themed celebrations, we promise you’re in for a treat.”
Visit Brock’s Homecoming website to learn more about the fun-filled weekend and to register to cheer on the Badgers at the Steel Blade Hockey Game, attend a class reunion and celebrate outstanding alumni achievements.