The Alumni & Donor Engagement Team – Albright College

The Alumni & Donor Engagement Team

Alumni and Donor Engagement Welcomes Some Fresh Faces

Front L to R:  Dawn Thren, Ralia Vardaxis ’87 and  Amanda Walck ’14
Back L to R:  Dawn Gieringer ’10 and Tristen Cotter ’22

Alumni & Donor Engagement celebrates the success and supports the needs of alumni, acknowledges the contributions of donors and volunteers, and creates a culture of philanthropy in our community. We hope you’ll visit us at Pushman Cottage to register for events, pick up a campus map, look through yearbooks and share your Albright experiences!

Tristen Cotter ’22 was named coordinator of alumni and donor engagement in May 2022. Tristen is an Albright alumna who majored in business administration, focusing on marketing and management. She received the Edwin R. and Regina L. Joseph commencement award for her academic accomplishments. During her time as a student, she was a member of the Lion Diplomats, Albright Snow Sports, POPs, Cheerleading, and the Dearden Honor Society. Additionally, she is a sister of Sigma Kappa Sorority and a brother of Alpha Phi Omega (service) Fraternity. In her new position as coordinator, she will support the alumni and donor engagement staff, lending administrative support and coordinating special projects.

Dawn Gieringer ’10 was promoted to director of alumni events & communication, having been coordinator of alumni and donor engagement since 2018. Dawn is responsible for the design and implementation of comprehensive alumni and donor programs and events with specialization in the areas of social media, the alumni online community, and event management.

Dawn currently serves on the task force on race relations at Albright and Albright’s sustainability committee. Her career includes teaching as an adjunct instructor in English at both Albright College and Reading Area Community College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Albright College and a master’s degree in English literature from Villanova University.

Dawn Thren joined our team in January 2022 in the new role of director of donor relations and stewardship. She is responsible for implementing a comprehensive stewardship program that provides recognition and acknowledgement for Albright donors and volunteers. This includes demonstrating the impact of philanthropy, enhancing the donor experience and inspiring future giving to the college.

Dawn brings with her a wealth of experience in producing development communications, campaign collateral, website content, leadership correspondence and writing donor recognition stories. An experienced communicator in higher education, she most recently served as director of development communications at Lehigh University for eight years prior to a successful freelance writing business with clients that included Ursinus College, Saint Joseph’s University and Muhlenberg College. Dawn earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication at Bloomsburg University and holds a master’s in telecommunications from Kutztown University.

Ralia C. Vardaxis ’87 has served in the role of assistant vice president for alumni and donor engagement since January 2018. Prior to that she was on the road meeting with alumni and donors as a leadership gift officer since 2011.  She played an integral role in the success of the That Their Light May Shine campaign, which raised over $58 million for Albright College. She has excelled in creating meaningful relationships, engaging alumni and donors, and raising funds for annual, endowed and capital needs.

In her role, Vardaxis oversees and provides leadership for the professional staff responsible for alumni engagement, donor relations and stewardship, and the Fund for Albright.  Working collaboratively with campus partners and the Alumni Association Board of Directors, she brings the vital resources of alumni and donors to support the mission of the college. She earned her master’s degree in leadership from Alvernia University.

Amanda Walck ’14 was promoted to director of the fund for Albright in October 2021, having been the assistant director since September 2014. Amanda is an Albright alumna who studied history and sociology, with a focus on criminology. As a student, she was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority, an executive member of the Panhellenic Council, SGA representative for the Class of 2014 and worked as an archives assistant in the Gingrich Library. On the advancement staff, Amanda has been integral in the Albright Challenge since its inception, was responsible for educating students on philanthropy through the Lion Diplomats, Senior Class Gift Committee, solicitation of donors through mail, email and phone, and focused outreach to young alumni.