For Immediate Release
Date: August 17, 2005
BLOOMSBURG—Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s longtime director of Alumni Affairs has announced plans to retire early next spring.
Douglas Hippenstiel will retire March 31, 2006, to spend time with his wife Kathy, two children and three grandchildren, but he plans to stay connected with the BU graduates he’s met over the past 26 years as an Alumni Association volunteer.
Hippenstiel, who’s lived most of his life within four miles of BU’s campus, grew up in Lightstreet and graduated from Bloomsburg in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He returned to the university full-time 12 years later as director of Alumni Affairs after three years as a high school English teacher and nine years as a Press Enterprise reporter, managing editor and weekend editor. While working for the local newspaper, he was employed part-time by the Alumni Association, handling production of its alumni tabloid as it grew from a small magazine. He joined BU’s staff full-time following the retirement of BU’s first director of alumni affairs, the late Donald Watts.
As director of Alumni Affairs, Hippenstiel’s top priority has always centered on staying connected to alumni, encouraging them “to be advocates, supporters and donors.”
“We’re interested in their success stories and professional achievements. And, we want alumni to feel good about the institution so they will help send prospective students our way,” he said.
Over nearly 26 years with the university, Hippenstiel has seen BU’s alumni database grow from 22,000 to more than 50,000 graduates, 75 percent of whom live in Pennsylvania. He can contact more than 16,000 alumni instantly through the e-newsletter he broadcasts several times each month and help graduates contact each other through the online community he helped establish, www.bloomualumni.com.
During his tenure, the Alumni Association purchased and renovated its home, the Festemaker Alumni House; expanded the number of events for alumni, like Bloom at the Beach and other picnics and mixers; and began hosting the annual luncheon where scholarship recipients may meet donors.
“It’s really impossible to adequately thank an individual such as Doug Hippenstiel for his service to the university. He has been, quite literally, Mr. Maroon and Gold,” said BU President Jessica Kozloff, referring to the university’s colors. “It’s difficult to think of a more loyal and dedicated member of the university staff. We’ll miss him, but we wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life.”
“My favorite part of the job,” said Hippenstiel, “has always been the communications side and the biggest change has been in how we communicate with alumni. The Internet and e-mail have made a huge difference. As a result, I’m always getting news from alumni and many have become my extended family. During my career at Bloomsburg, I’ve never felt more connected with alumni.”
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students and offers 65 bachelor’s, 18 master’s and one doctoral degree.