"Having been on campus since I was a student, IUPUI feels like home to me. I vividly remember leaving a psychology class during my senior year and thinking that I would like to work at IUPUI, in any capacity, someday," said Kim Merritt, director of alumni programs.
That was almost 24 years ago. When Merritt first joined the IUPUI staff shortly after her graduation from the School of Science, it was as an administrative assistant in the IU Center on Philanthropy. In 1997, she took a position in the IUPUI Office of Alumni Relations, and she has been an integral part of their team since.
While Merritt's day-to-day responsibilities vary throughout the year, creating and maintaining meaningful relationships with current students and IUPUI alumni is at the heart of her position. Through the coordination of alumni programming and events for the Herron School of Art and Design, the School of Engineering and Technology, and the School of Science, and through award-winning programs like Herron's Visual Communication Design Conference and the IUPUI Top 100 undergraduate student recognition program, Merritt helps to establish the critical connections that keep alumni actively engaged with IUPUI.
From top: Merritt chats with IUPUI Alumni Relations colleague Sharon Holland; Merritt with her diploma folder when she graduated from IUPUI in 1995; Merritt with former colleague Stefan Davis. Top photo by Liz Kay, IU Communications; bottom photos courtesy of Kim Merritt
"Kim has been a builder during her years working in the IUPUI Office of Alumni Relations. She is constantly looking for opportunities to build both stronger and — more important — lasting relationships within our community of alumni, students, staff, and faculty. Her lead role in managing the Top 100 program has helped establish a campus tradition, adding another layer to the IUPUI community," said Stefan Davis, retired executive director of the IUPUI Office of Alumni Relations and associate vice president of the Indiana University Alumni Association.
"I love the sense of community at IUPUI. I'm fortunate to have worked with a great group of dedicated staff members and have formed friendships as a result of working so closely with different alumni groups over the years. It is a privilege to get to work with individuals who have so many options in terms of where they can give back to their community. I never take for granted how special it is that they choose to make IUPUI one of those places," Merritt said.