Stephen Petersen named to direct alumni relations

Stephen H. Petersen, Ph.D., has been appointed assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations in Alumni & Development Programs.

“Steve brings a wealth of experience in many facets of student and alumni relations, as well as administrative leadership to Washington University,” said Pamella Henson, associate vice chancellor of Alumni & Development Programs.

Stephen Petersen

Petersen’s responsibilities at Washington University include class reunions, Founders Day, WUSTL alumni clubs and programs, the travel lecture series, the alumni travel program, special programs for current students and young alumni, the Alumni Board of Governors, working with Development to encourage alumni support for the university, and partnering with numerous offices on campus to provide services and support for WUSTL alumni.

Since 1971, when he became assistant to the dean of students at Indiana University, Petersen has forged a career in academia devoted to improving the college experience for students and strengthening their connection after graduation.

For 24 years Petersen served the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg as vice president for student and alumni affairs, which included responsibility for development, alumni relations, public relations, intercollegiate athletics, admissions and recruitment, career services and student activities. He served twice as interim vice president for university advancement. In addition to instituting many new systems and increasing its programs, under his guidance Central Missouri received the largest gift in its history up to that point in time.

In 2004, he accepted the position of associate vice president for alumni relations at Saint Louis University; two years later the responsibilities for annual giving were added.

During Petersen’s tenure at SLU, he served for nine months as interim vice president for university advancement and oversaw three major departments: development, alumni relations, and marketing and communications.

Petersen earned a bachelor’s degree in French, a master’s degree in college student personnel administration, and a doctorate in higher education administration, all from Indiana University. He also received a Fulbright Scholar award.

In addition to his administrative career, Petersen has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate-level courses, and was an assistant professor of education at the University of Vermont (Burlington) and an associate professor of education at the University of Central Missouri.

His professional memberships include the American College Personnel Association, the American Council on Education, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Missouri College Personnel Association, and the Kansas City Regional Council for Higher Education. In addition, Petersen is active in many community leadership and educational organizations.