Brenau Gains New Alumni Director

May 4, 2011
Rudi Kiefer

Natalie Walker, a Smyrna, Ga., resident with 13 years’ experience with public, private and single-gender institutions, has been named Brenau University’s director of alumni relations.

She will oversee programs related to about 18,000 graduates of various academic segments, including the Women’s College, Brenau Academy and coeducational undergraduate and graduate programs of various Brenau campuses and online. She replaces Melissa Gardner Edge, WC ’02, who left Brenau in January after six years, first as a development officer and then for almost five as head of Brenau’s alumni office. Edge currently is assistant to the campus pastor at Buckhead Church in Atlanta.

Walker graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., which with Brenau is among the 53 remaining women’s colleges in the United States, four of them in Georgia. She began her career at the Georgia Tech Alumni Association in 1997 serving as an assistant in the alumni clubs program, assistant director of annual giving and event manager and from 2007 to 2010 was alumni relations director for Life University in Marietta, Ga. Most recently, however, she was a contract consultant for the Charleston, S.C. software company, Blackbaud, Inc., whose Raiser’s Edge product is Brenau’s strategic tool for managing contact information and data for all its alumni and development relationships.

“Natalie comes to us with a wonderful vision for the alumni relations office at Brenau and for enhancing the university’s relationships with graduates of all its educational platforms,” says Matt Thomas, vice president of external relations. “As an Agnes Scott graduate, Natalie also has a clear understanding of what it is to be an alumna of a women’s college and the special experience that a single-gender institution provides.”

Walker’s experience also includes extensive work with other large and small higher education institutions and with two high-visibility not-for-profit organizations in the Atlanta area. In 2000 she returned to her alma mater for a two-year stint as major gifts officer. She also spent a year at Emory University as development director for the Department of Human Genetics. Her experience includes fundraising roles for the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta, where she coordinated all aspects of a $4 million individual giving campaign, and the Cobb County, Ga., Habitat for Humanity, where she developed a $1 million comprehensive fundraising program. In addition she has performed volunteer service with the Atlanta-based Dad’s Garage Theatre improv company and the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club.

“I’m very excited about coming to Brenau,” she said. “My own education has made me a strong proponent of women’s colleges, and Brenau combines that with the best of liberal arts and excellent professional preparation.”