Alumni Connections

Crimson and Gray Goes Green

Crimson and Gray Goes Green

It’s time to rethink how WPI communicates with you. Consider: During the 2008 fiscal year, the Alumni Relations Office printed 92,861 invitations, postcards, brochures, envelopes, and other Reunion and Homecoming materials.

And Alumni Relations is just one small part of the paper consumption picture at WPI, and an even smaller part nationally. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States uses approximately 85 million tons of paper and paperboard each year—the average American family uses the equivalent of a 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products annually.

WPI is working to address these issues through its sustainability initiative, a campus-wide effort aimed at encouraging students, staff, and faculty to engage in research and action promoting sustainability on campus and in communities around the world (see story, page 16). The Alumni Relations Office is joining the effort, developing a paperless communications strategy. As a result, you’ll be receiving fewer postcard invitations and more email invitations and notices in the coming months. By September 2009, we hope to send all of your event invitations and special notices from the Alumni Relations Office primarily by email, saving trees and money on printing and mailing.

In order to be successful, we will need your current email. If you haven’t registered for AlumniConnect, visit and follow the instructions for 'firsttime log in.' To obtain your constituent ID number, contact the Alumni Relations Office at or 508-831-5600. (You’ll be prompted to create a username and password on your first login.)

If you’ve already registered for AlumniConnect, please make sure we have your current email address. Alumni who provide their email addresses for the first time will be registered to win one of two prize packs of WPI merchandise.

New Development and Alumni Relations Staff

Jo-Ann Alessandrini joined WPI in September as associate vice president for development and campaign director. She is working with Vice President Dexter Bailey, key volunteer leaders, and development staff members on the planning and implementation of a comprehensive campaign to support WPI’s teaching and research mission, as well as the university’s future philanthropic endeavors.

Alessandrini most recently served as assistant dean for development at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Business in Tampa. Before joining the business school, she led the university’s fund-raising efforts as interim CEO of the USF Foundation and as vice president of university advancement in preparing for a third comprehensive campaign anticipated to achieve a goal of more than half a billion dollars.

Jake Messier became the executive director of the Alumni Relations Office in November. Working with WPI’s key alumni volunteer leaders and a dedicated staff, Messier directs the university’s alumni relations programming focused on strengthening the bonds among faculty, students, and staff with alumni worldwide.

Messier’s varied career has spanned CBS news, print and new media advertising, high-profile public relations, and marketing for several technology firms. He also served nine years in the U.S. Marine Corps in public affairs.

Samuel Stewart became WPI’s executive director of development operations and research in November. He directs and supervises programs and staff in advancement services, development research, and donor stewardship. He oversees aspects of gift processing, reporting and analysis, the biographical records system, prospect research, and stewardship.

Before coming to WPI, Stewart spent 14 years at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he most recently served as controller for the development office of the UMass Memorial Foundation. He was also chief financial officer of UMass Medical School, responsible for accounting systems and financial reporting.

Michelle Vigneux joined the WPI Annual Fund in December as director. She is working with the Annual Fund Board, student leaders, and staff to lead and grow WPI’s Annual Fund program.

Vigneux brings to WPI extensive alumni and annual fund experience. Before joining WPI, she was director of annual giving at Lasell College in Newton, Mass., where she established Graduates of the Last Decade, athletics, and parents programs and oversaw all annual giving activities, including a phonathon program. During her tenure, Lasell broke the $600,000 mark in annual giving for the first time in the college’s history and saw a 10 percent increase in parent giving and a 5 percent increase in faculty and staff giving.

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Last modified: March 31, 2009 09:01:37