New alumni director seeks to unite alumni

Photo courtesy of Murray State Public Relations

Story by Lindsey Coleman, Staff writer

Murray State named Carrie McGinnis as the new director of Alumni Relations, and she began her position on Oct. 17.

Photo courtesy of Murray State Public Relations


“I saw this as a great step in not only my career, but also just an opportunity for me to be a part of a family that’s full of pride and tradition. I was excited about that,” McGinnis said.

Shawn Touney, director of communication, said the director of Alumni Relations position had been vacant for several months, and after the search process, McGinnis was a successful candidate.

Despite a rigorous application process, which included several rounds of interviews, McGinnis said she knew Murray State was where she wanted to be.

“I love it. I couldn’t be more thrilled,” McGinnis said. “Everybody has been so warm and welcoming and beyond helpful and supportive. You can tell why there’s so much pride here because everybody that I’ve come in contact with has been just a peach.”

McGinnis said her three years of experience as the Continuing Education and Community Services Coordinator at Hopkinsville Community College will be an asset.

“In my time at Hopkinsville Community College, I was able to develop relationships that led to new programs that led to new opportunities, new equipment for the college, and I think that’s something that my colleagues here at Murray State saw as something that I bring to the table,” McGinnis said.

McGinnis earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northern Illinois University, worked with WKDZ radio and is now earning her master’s degree in organizational communication at Murray State.

McGinnis and her husband have long-standing roots in the region. She said her husband earned his master’s degree from Murray State, and two of their children are graduates of the university.

“We’ve got a family full of Racers,” McGinnis said.

With Homecoming being this weekend, McGinnis said she couldn’t have started at a better time. She said she is going to enjoy the opportunity to meet new friends, see new faces and establish relationships for the university.

“We are so involved with all the activities throughout the weekend,” McGinnis said. “I’m excited to observe, learn, get my hands dirty, jump in and be a part of that.”

McGinnis said she hopes many alumni come back and celebrate Homecoming this weekend and take part in the many events on Friday and Saturday.

“Another one of my goals is to make this Alumni Center serves as the front porch of the university. We want this to be a place where our Racer alumni would like to come back and enjoy and reminisce, and we want people to know that the doors are always open.”

McGinnis said going forward, she wants to boost excitement about programs and scholarships on campus.

“I’m really looking forward to working with our alumni to engage throughout the country, and not just throughout the country, but throughout the world, so that we can develop that Racer pride,” McGinnis said.

She said she will reach out to the more than 70,000 alumni electronically and by mail, with the goal of establishing excitement about Murray State, which could include Racer alumni watch parties during basketball season.

“The Alumni Association’s mission is to celebrate and engage our Racer Nation throughout the country,” McGinnis said. “In doing that, that’ll help us to maintain the relationships that we need in an effort to afford opportunities for Racers who are here currently, who have been here in the past and who will be here in the future.”

McGinnis said she encourages alumni to call her to discuss the transformational opportunities that come with being a member of the Alumni Association.

“The reason that the Alumni Association is so important is for that very reason: to get people excited about Murray State University where they are, because not only does it help us to create opportunities for future Racers through scholarships, but it also helps us in our recruitment efforts throughout the country,” McGinnis said.

Through the end of this month, in honor of celebrating their 90th year on campus, she said the Alumni Association is running a $90 for 90 campaign, which is an opportunity for alumni to give $40 towards their membership fee and $50 towards the Century Club Legacy Scholarship for prospective Racers who have family who attended the University.

“It gives you an opportunity to continue to add value to your education as alumni,” McGinnis said.

Adrienne King, vice president of University Advancement, said McGinnis is joining an outstanding alumni team committed to building relationships with Racer alumni.

“Carrie’s ability to both establish and nurture relationships, combined with her track record of effective leadership and strong communication skills, will enable her to effectively lead our alumni relations efforts,” King said. “Working with our dedicated Murray State University Alumni Association Board of Governors, I’m confident that we will continue to advance our alumni engagement.”