Jennifer Dilworth Northam, a 1991 Whitman graduate, member of the alumni relations staff and a Walla Walla community leader, will serve as the college’s director of alumni relations, effective Dec. 1, 2021. Northam will succeed Nancy Mitchell, who is retiring in December following 36 years of service in alumni relations at Whitman, including eight years as director.
“Along with a depth of Whitman and Walla Walla experiences and relationships, Jennifer brings an exceptional energy and charisma to this important leadership role,” says Steve Setchell, vice president for development and alumni relations. “I am eager to partner with Jennifer and to see what she will deliver for the college and with our loyal alumni.”
Service to College and Community
An associate director of alumni relations, who joined the staff in 2013, Northam has worked closely with alumni volunteers through her work on reunions, and with the alumni association and W Club boards of directors.She has also worked closely with key campus partners, including the college’s leadership, faculty and the Career and Community Engagement Center. Northam recently facilitated an expansion of virtual programs in response to the pandemic, attracting a significant number of first-time event attendees.
“Whitman is blessed with passionate alumni who truly want to be involved in the life of the college, and I am excited to enhance our current programs and create new opportunities for that engagement. I am honored to continue this meaningful work, for this place I love,” says Northam.
Prior to her work at Whitman, Northam served as events and public relations manager for the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation for eight years. Her community board and volunteer service spans the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Visit Walla Walla and the local school system.
A Fond Farewell
Northam replaces Nancy Mitchell, who spent her entire Whitman career in the Office of Alumni Relations. She joined the staff in 1985 and took on progressive increases in responsibilities leading to her appointment as director of alumni relations in 2013. Her decades of service touched generations of alumni through reunions, events across the nation and alumni trips spanning the globe.
“Nancy’s depth of service to Whitman College is truly extraordinary,” says Setchell. “We cannot thank her enough for forging and sustaining countless alumni relationships that have strengthened the college and advanced our work to change the lives of young people.”