This new relationship will help strengthen and reimagine the Association’s lifelong connection to all Mountaineers.
Led by Kevin Berry, who was named vice president for alumni relations earlier this year, the WVU Alumni Association recently expanded its team and is now creating new ways to help alumni of all ages through an exciting multigenerational approach.
Berry and his team are charged with supporting the strategic interests of WVU and connecting and reconnecting more than 200,000 Mountaineer alums with their alma mater.
There will be new opportunities for alumni to connect in their local communities, network and grow in their professions, and share the joy of the Mountaineer journey from graduation to retirement, and beyond.
The Association’s executive director of alumni engagement, Meridith Balas, implements the strategic vision and supports policy development, constituent services and programming while prioritizing initiatives that foster lifelong relationships between WVU and its alumni. An alumna herself, Balas joined the Association team in 2017.
In May, Geoff Coyle and Jessica McGee, both WVU alums, joined the leadership team to strengthen alumni communication and volunteer engagement efforts. Coyle is the director of volunteer engagement, overseeing engagement opportunities for chapter and interest groups around the world, connecting volunteer leaders and the Association. He previously was a senior social media editor for University Relations and Enrollment Management.
A seasoned storyteller, Jessica McGee is the director of marketing and communications, telling the stories of alumni and friends of WVU. Her work focuses on raising brand awareness for the Association and the Erickson Alumni Center. She previously was the director of marketing and communications for WVU’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and assistant director of communications for the NCAA.
In expanded roles, director of development David Allaway and chief financial officer Lou Hart continue to cultivate meaningful relationships with alums and oversee the stewardship of resources. Allaway is also tasked with enhancing resource development to support strategic priorities and other University-wide initiatives in his role working for the WVU Foundation. Allaway joined the alumni engagement team in 2019.
Hart's responsibilities include overseeing operational metrics. In addition, his work directly supports the operation and growth of the Erickson Alumni Center. With more than ten years of service, Hart brings organizational experience and consistency to the team.
“Our alumni engagement team approaches this work with a deep sense of Mountaineer pride and a spirit for creativity and connection. Whether we’re meeting alumni in their home cities, or connecting with them here in Morgantown, the energy and camaraderie are exciting,” Balas said. “We can’t wait to lean on the strengths of this team.”
“Since its founding at the request of WVU President Alexander Martin in 1873, the WVU Alumni Association has a rich history of supporting the strategic interests of WVU and creating community among our graduates and friends,” Berry said. “I couldn’t be more excited about the future of the Association and how this strategic partnership and team expansion will advance our work as we strive to be an authentic, inclusive, purpose-driven and collaborative organization.”
Some of the priorities the team is working on include an organizational rebrand, developing a multigenerational communications plan, re-engaging its grassroots network, strengthening internal and external partnerships, creating business and professional development programming, developing ways to engage students and expanding Homecoming.
The WVU Alumni Association was organized in 1873 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1977. It is the oldest University affiliate and serves WVU’s largest constituency: 210,000+ worldwide Mountaineers.