ROCK HILL, S.C. - After conducting a national search during the fall, Winthrop officials have named Debbie Garrick as the new executive director for the Office of Alumni Relations.
She will serve the as the chief operating officer for the Winthrop Alumni Association and work closely with the executive board and the university's 42,000 alumni, coordinating communications, affinity group activities, class reunions and annual events such as Homecoming.
Winthrop officials anticipate Garrick’s leadership will move the association forward by strengthening connections among affinity groups and between young alumni and the university, building on Winthrop’s successful athletic program to draw alumni and friends back to campus and expanding on electronic and Web-based communications to better reach alumni throughout the country and world.
"How fortunate for Winthrop that a national search revealed an outstanding leader who is also an alumna," said Tim Sease, president of the Winthrop Alumni Association. "Debbie’s passion for her alma mater and her track record as an administrator add up to a win-win for the alumni association and for Winthrop."
Garrick joined the Office of Alumni Relations in July 2004 as director of alumni programs, where she has overseen a variety of alumni interest groups, including programs that partner the admissions and career services offices with alumni volunteers across the nation.
She replaces Martie Curran as executive director, who retired in December after 24 years.
"Winthrop’s alumni are leaders in their professions and in their communities," said Anthony DiGiorgio, President of Winthrop University, "and it is important to have that same quality in the executive director of alumni relations – Debbie Garrick is known for her passion for Winthrop and her leadership on and off campus."
Garrick obtained her two degrees at Winthrop: a B.A. in communications in 1987 and an M.Ed. in counseling and development in 1989. She is currently pursuing postgraduate work in higher education administration. She said that she is eager to start in her new role.
"I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that Winthrop and the Alumni Association are known for," she said. "Winthrop has been a source of leadership development and inspiration throughout my professional life. It is an honor to serve in this position."
The Neeses, S.C., native has received two Presidential Citations – one in 1999 for her work as a mentor and role model for students and one in 2004, for her part in designing and implementing the Emerging Leaders program in the Division of Student Life.