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New Director of Alumni Relations Named
JUST BEFORE the Gazette went to press last month, a new director of alumni relations was announced. He is Martin Rapisarda, who has been serving as director of the Executive Master's Programs at Purdue University's Krannert Graduate School of Management since 1993. Rapisarda, who will officially move into his office in the Sweeten Alumni House on November 30, said in a brief telephone conversation with the Gazette that he was "delighted and eager" to begin his new post.
   "It's a great opportunity and challenge," he added, "to create a world-class alumni organization -- to have the opportunity to define what is meant by that and to create something that exists nowhere else." Alumni relations, he noted, will "be the facilitator for embodying the concepts of life-long learning as well as bridging all aspects of the University community."
   Though not an alumnus of the University -- he graduated from Allentown College of St. Francis De Sales in 1974, and received his Ph.D. in English and philosophy from Purdue four years later -- Rapisarda grew up in Philadelphia and said that in many ways the move to Penn will be a "homecoming." Coming with him to Penn will be his wife, Elizabeth Rapisarda, who will serve as director of corporate and foundation relations.
   "How lucky Penn's alumni are to have a new director with Martin's enthusiasm, vision, and academic experience as well as his great experience in educational programming and distance learning," said Elsie Sterling Howard, CW'68, president of the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Society. "Our shared vision is that Penn's alumni programs will be without equal -- connecting our alumni to Penn as they want and deserve to be connected! I know that Martin will lead the renewed effort to ensure that our alumni experience is at the highest level and I also know our alumni will be as excited to work with Martin as I am."
   In her announcement, Virginia Clark, vice president of development and alumni relations, said: "In our search, we placed special emphasis on the recruitment of a candidate for alumni relations who had marketing expertise, experience working with distance-learning programs, and demonstrated leadership ability to move alumni relations forward in the realization of its ambitious vision for the future. Martin has excelled in all of these areas." Of particular value to alumni relations, she added, "will be one of Martin's core strengths in the application of new communications technologies to the creation, enhancement, and dramatic growth of distance-learning and continuing-education programs."
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Copyright 1998 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 10/28/98