Central is all about development, and we are always making changes for the better. In recent months, a number of positions and responsibilities have shifted in the development and alumni offices. From promotions to a new hire, Central is working to keep alumni connected and in the loop.
In her 12 years at Central, Mary Benedict has worked as an admission office counselor and as the executive assistant to the vice president of college advancement. She is currently the assistant director of alumni relations.
Benedict helps plan, organize and manage alumni events and special reunions as well as help coordinate Homecoming, graduation, move-in day and senior week activities. She also works with the Central RED Society, a life-long learning program that began in October. Benedict manages the legacy program as well.
“What I love about my job is keeping up with all of the students I have gotten to know that are now alumni,” she says. “They are representing Central well, as do all of our alumni. We have a very large extended family, and I look forward to having it grow every year.”
Adam Haselhuhn is the newest member of the development office as the director of annual giving. Haselhuhn graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in political communication and political science. Before coming to Central, he was the associate director of annual giving at Simpson College.
Haselhuhn works with the Journey Scholarship Fund, which provides alumni and friends a way to support Central students through scholarships.
“Every day I get to come to my job knowing that the work I do has a direct impact on the life of a student – that is powerful and I’m very lucky to be here,” he says. “The people at Central are like a family. It is a wonderful campus community that is truly invested in the success of our students.”
Don Morrison has worked at Central for 20 years where he was recently named the director of development and planned giving. Previously, Morrison was the director of planned giving.
Morrison is charged with providing leadership, in collaboration with the vice president for advancement, in the planning, management, implementation and assessment of all fundraising and development activities at the college. He also is responsible for the overall management of the planned giving program and serves as the major gifts officer. Morrison meets with alumni all over the country with a vested interest in Central.
“Friends often say to me, ‘I could never ask anyone for money’ and they wonder how I can do what I do,” Morrison says. “My response is that I get to help people help people. There is nothing more personally satisfying to me than working with individuals who love Central College enough to give an important part of themselves away to help others—whether that’s through their gifts of time, talent or treasure. It’s remarkable when it happens and Central alumni do it in spades!”
KATHY CASHEN THOMPSON ’87
Kathy Cashen Thompson ’87 started work at Central following her graduation as an admission counselor for 10 years. Thompson left Central for 10 years before returning home in 2007 as the director of annual giving. In April, she was promoted to director of alumni relations.
Thompson serves as the communication point-person between alumni and the college community. She connects with alumni through social media and on and off campus events.
“I feel that I have come full circle with my career,” Thompson explains. “From admission to alumni, it is such a joy to connect with alumni for the first time or after many years. Central is a great thing to have in common and I love that it is easy to relate to alumni who are 10 or 20 years ahead or behind me. Central is wonderfully the same, but better, and I look forward to sharing all the great things that are happening for our students and encouraging our alumni to continue supporting.”
PEGGY VAN DEN BERG ’83
Peggy Van Den Berg ’83 has worked for Central for 24 years, starting September 1989. Over more than two decades, Van Den Berg has worked in a variety of offices at Central including the economics, accounting and management department, IT services and financial planning. Van Den Berg has been named the director of stewardship. She was previously the advancement database specialist.
Van Den Berg works toward generating a comprehensive plan to create mutually rewarding relationships between Central and donors at all levels, with letters, events or dedications.
“I’ve truly enjoyed every job I’ve had in every department over the years, and it always goes back to the coworkers and students with whom I’ve worked,” she says. “It’s a rewarding career making a difference in the lives of those seeking an education and seeing the world through their eyes and experiences.”