MADISON, WI — Sarah Schutt, an experienced alumni relations executive, has been named chief alumni officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA). The move was announced today by Mike Knetter, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA).
Schutt has worked 25 years in higher education, nearly all of it at UW–Madison. She will assume her new duties on July 1, succeeding Paula Bonner, currently WFAA’s chief alumni officer and president of WAA. Earlier this spring, Bonner announced her intentions to step down from that role and concentrate on the opening of Alumni Park, scheduled to open in October 2017.
“Sarah has demonstrated the strategic-thinking, decision-making, project-management, and team-leadership capabilities that make her a great choice for this role at this time,” Knetter said. “I am confident she will strengthen our 156-year history of engaging our outstanding alumni.”
Schutt earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and a master of science degree from Minnesota State University–Mankato. She first joined UW–Madison as an outreach specialist in 1999, and since then, she has served in a number of roles on campus and at WAA.
“Sarah is already recognized across the Big Ten and among other alumni leaders around the country for her leadership of signature alumni learning and engagement programs such as Grandparents University as well as re-launching alumni career networking,” Bonner said. “She is the perfect fit for this role at this time in our history.”
Schutt said she is excited to take the reins of WAA in July. “It is a great honor to represent our passionate and committed UW alumni and supporters and to lead an organization with more than a century and a half of commitment to sustaining and advancing our great university,” Schutt said. “The pride, spirit, deeply cherished traditions, and commitment to excellence that characterize our alumni body will be a key force that will carry the UW forward through the next century. I’m humbled to follow in the footsteps of past leaders and thrilled to be carrying on the traditions they established.”