Director of Development, Alumni Relations & Event Planning

About Harrisburg University:

Harrisburg University offers an applied science and technology education for students who want a degree and a dedicated pathway to a career. Its focus is to educate career-minded individuals in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM careers), giving them the tools to succeed, while helping to shape their communities, locally and beyond. Our goal is to help stimulate economic growth in our region by establishing a STEM educated workforce — a necessary resource in today’s economy.



The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is an independent educational institution offering innovative academic and research programs in science and technology that respond to local and global needs.  The institution fosters a diverse community of learners, provides access and support to students who want to pursue a career in science and technology, and supports business creation and economic development.


Position Description:
The Director of Development, Alumni Relations & Event Planning will report to Harrisburg University’s Vice President of Advancement and will be primarily responsible for event logistics for multiple yearly Advancement and Alumni Events.  This position will also have accountability for building and maintaining donor relations as it relates to events.

In regards to event planning, this Director’s role will be to champion and coordinate the day-to-day operations of Harrisburg University’s Advancement events and programs, including the operations, equipment, logistics and event needs.

The Director leads all aspects of these events and plays a significant role in planning, strategic direction, implementation and execution of these events. This individual maintains primary responsibility for providing leadership in planning, marketing, coordinating and implementing all aspects of the Events as well initiating and organizing sponsorships and gifts as it relates to these events.

Additionally, this role will provide the opportunity to build and maintain Alumni Relations for Harrisburg University. With our rapidly growing and expanding Alumni base, this position will create and maintain pathways for alumni participation, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.


  • Implement the comprehensive strategic plan for Advancement & Alumni events- including the Harrisburg University Block Party, Annual Gala, Founders Recognition Reception and Boat on the Bay – which includes organizational best practices, specific revenue and expense budget, timeline, logistics, marketing & sponsorships for each event.
  • Ensure successful fundraising and sponsorship for all key development events.
  • Maintain high-level relationships with key corporate sponsors year-round and insure involvement and financial support in all relevant University events and activities.
  • Garner support, participation and collaboration of community leaders
  • Work collaboratively with staff to create, design and implement marketing and promotional materials and then to market and promote through social, print, radio and billboard media.
  • Act as point of contact for activities that promote the University and provide important fundraising for the University
  • Research and Secure funding through event sponsorships and individual donations
  • Maintain regular communication with alumni via direct contact, email blasts, social media, etc.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with a wide range of alumni locally, regionally, nationally and internationally
  • Develop and implement a focused cultivation program that interest and involves alumni


Qualities and experiences that ideal candidates should display include:

  • A bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of alumni relations, event planning, development or other related work experience is required.
  • A progressive, successful experience in event planning, budgeting, relationship management, marketing & branding.
  • The ability to build a cohesive event and/or program that achieves Advancement goals and objectives
  • Demonstrated management skills to organize, direct, motivate and evaluate the efforts of professionals and volunteers
  • An accomplished professional dedicated to building respect for the organization internally and externally
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate persuasively, orally and in writing, the importance of the fundraising goals of the organization
  • Develop and cultivate relationships among Harrisburg-area community members
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • A high level of initiative and energy
  • Ability to think critically and articulate opinions
  • Ability to become acquainted with key donors in a short timeframe
  • A “hands-on” approach to the responsibilities of the position
  • Unquestionable integrity and a strong sense of professional ethics
  • Ability to embrace the mission, philosophy and values of the University
  • Demonstrate excellent project management skills with an ability to interact with and motivate others to succeed on several fronts simultaneously
  • Demonstrated strong organizational and time management skills
  • Required to work evenings or weekends as needed.


Preference will be given to candidates that also display one of more of the following:

  • Professional work history in a non-profit and/or academic organization
  • Experience working in development, advancement, fundraising, event planning and/or alumni relations at a higher education institution or non-profit setting
  • Previous experience working with International Alumni
  • Previous experience as a Special Events Fundraising Manager
  • Fundraising certification (CFRRE, FAHP, CSPG) or equivalent.


Harrisburg University: At a Glance:

  • Only science and technology-focused comprehensive university between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh
  • Private, non-sectarian, not-for-profit, urban, teaching university
  • Located in the city of Harrisburg in the county of Dauphin
  • Incorporated in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: December 12, 2001
  • Chartered by Pennsylvania Department of Education: January 20, 2005
  • Inaugural class arrived August 29, 2005
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, June 22, 2009
  • 200 full- and part-time employees
  • Signature 16-story, $73 million, state-of-the-art Academic Center


Student Population:

  • The University’s total student enrollment for undergraduate and graduate degree seeking students is 3600 as of January 1, 2017.
  • Undergraduate Student Body is 49% female, and 53% minority
  • 98% demonstrate financial need
  • Ranked in top 20 of US News & World Report’s ethnic diversity category for Best National Liberal Arts Colleges
  • HU places 92% of its graduates in family-sustaining careers in their fields of study within six months of graduation.
  • HU undergraduate student average debt upon graduation is $7,000 less than the national average student education debt.



  • Full-time faculty with Ph.D. or Terminal Degree: 100%
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees awarded in Analytics, Biotechnology and Biosciences, Computer and Information Sciences, Interactive Media, Management & eBusiness, Geospatial Technologies, and Integrative Sciences
  • Master of Science Degrees awarded in Analytics, Information Systems Engineering & Management, Learning Technologies, Computer Information Sciences, Project Management & Healthcare Informatics.
  • PhD awarded in Data Analytics – first student cohort will begin in Fall 2017.
  • Trimester system


Institutional Leadership:

Governance of the University includes a 30-member, independent, self-perpetuating Board of Trustees led by the Executive Committee. The Board of Trustees delegates authority for day-to-day operations to senior management.


Notes of Distinction:

  • First private non-profit science and technology-focused institution chartered in the Commonwealth since Carnegie Mellon University
  • Educational framework is competency-based, applied, and experiential
  • Offers Central Pennsylvania’s only master’s degrees in IT Project Management, or Learning Technologies
  • The University is a Project Management Institute® registered education provider
  • Home to the Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies, The Consumer Insights Research Lab, The Government Technology Institute, The Geospatial Technology Center, and The Food Science and Technology Center.
  • Co-PI on NSF-funded ADVANCE grant focused on the recruitment, retention, and development of women academics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines

Institutional Affiliations & Partnerships:

  • American Council on Education (ACE)
  • Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP)
  • Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania (TCCP)
  • Consortium agreements with Penn State and St. Francis University
  • Articulation agreements with Harrisburg Area Community College, Community College of Baltimore County & Lehigh Carbon Community College


About Harrisburg:

HU’s location in dynamic downtown Harrisburg connects people to a diverse and exciting community that is a wonderful place to call home. In 2010 Money Magazine rated Harrisburg as one of the nation’s top “Up and Coming Cities” and the area was ranked 12th in the “Best Places to Live” category in 2009 by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.  In 2010, Forbes Magazine ranked Harrisburg as 5th among America’s most livable cities; and the area as #2 among America’s best places to raise a family. The Capital Region is home to over 600,000 residents, making it the 52nd largest statistical metropolitan area in the nation.

Harrisburg is also home to the Capitol of the Commonwealth of PA, and downtown Harrisburg is the center for commerce regionally with a thriving, bustling downtown community of which Harrisburg University takes its home in the center.  Strawberry Square, a downtown shopping center connected to our campus and new building, is the student center. The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts provides auditorium space and numerous cultural events. Restaurant Row and City Island provide countless dining, shopping, sporting and socializing events. We have worked with a local developer to renovate to buildings downtown Harrisburg that now serve as dormitory space. The scenic nature areas along the nearby Susquehanna River offer a relaxing escape from classes and are the site for local concerts, art festivals, and shows. It is also possible to tour Harrisburg’s many historic museums, workout at the local fitness clubs, visit the theatres or take in a minor league baseball game.


Interested candidates should forward a cover letter and resume to the attention of:


Erin Hill, Executive Recruiter

Harrisburg University

326 Market Street

Harrisburg, PA 17101