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A legacy of growth

July 27, 2020 10:45 AM
Will Burdette wburdett@tulane.edu
After 38 years working in alumni relations at the university level, James Stofan will retire at the end of August. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


Nearing retirement, James Stofan, Tulane vice president for alumni relations, was asked what he will miss most about Tulane and New Orleans, “I will miss our alumni volunteers — what a fun, hard-working group, like no other group I’ve worked with during my career. And I’ll miss the music, culture and beauty of New Orleans — especially the food!”

“It’s been a wonderful experience to finish out my career here at Tulane,” said Stofan, who came to Tulane in September 2012. “I’m so very proud of all the great things that our staff, our alumni association leadership, and our alumni volunteers have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.”

Stofan cited a number of initiatives and programs as high points during his tenure at Tulane, including engaging over 50,000 alumni in support of the Only the Audacious campaign, and developing new alumni traditions like the Women Making Waves annual women’s leadership conference, the Dinner With 12 Tulanians networking program for alumni and students, and the Tulane Alumni Academy program that brings Tulane faculty to alumni across the country.

Stofan mentioned Tulane Connect as a particularly successful enterprise as well. Since it launched in 2014 the online networking platform has grown to include almost 20,000 alumni and students.

“Tulane Connect has been great for our alumni career services program, giving alumni and students a Tulane-exclusive platform for peer-to-peer networking and career development. We’ve been bold about launching these types of new programs, and that spirit has really increased our ability to engage alumni and bring them back to Tulane.”

“I’m also happy that the Alumni Awards gala has become such an important event.” The annual black-tie ceremony is held at The National WWII Museum and has featured past honorees like Apple vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson and astronaut Douglas Hurley. “Events like this highlight the value of the alumni association to the university’s key initiatives,” said Stofan.

“James Stofan is one of the top alumni relations professionals in the country. He has transformed the Office of Alumni Relations into a world-class department that engages alumni, the university and students. The cornerstone of his leadership is a fundamental understanding that what is good for our alumni community is good for the long-term success of Tulane,” said Larry Connelley (TC ’97), alumni club leader and past-president of the alumni association.

For more information on the Tulane Alumni Association, please visit alumni.tulane.edu.