John Jensen ’01 Named Executive Director of Alumni and Career Services W&L will merge its offices of Career and Professional Development and Alumni Engagement.
John Jensen, a 2001 graduate of Washington and Lee University and its current dean of the Office of Career and Professional Development, has been named executive director of Alumni and Career Services at Washington and Lee University effective July 1, 2022. Jensen replaces Beau Dudley ’74, ’79L, who will retire as executive director of Alumni Engagement this summer and transition to a new half-time role as senior advisor to the VP for University Advancement.
In his new role reporting to Vice President for University Advancement Tom Jennings, Jensen will retain leadership of W&L’s Office of Career and Professional Development while also assuming responsibility for the university’s Office of Alumni Engagement. The combined department will have four key areas: undergraduate student career services, alumni career services, alumni programs and volunteer engagement, and alumni lifelong learning.
“I am excited about the new organizational arrangement, which will continue the good work of both Alumni Engagement and Career and Professional Development while opening up new opportunities for student employment and alumni engagement with W&L,” said Jennings. “John is exceptionally qualified to lead the organization, and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”
Jensen said W&L has had a transformational impact on his life since he arrived as a student in fall 1997.
“My W&L experience has shaped nearly every aspect of my personal and professional journey, so it is a dream come true to lead this combined new team,” he said. “I look forward to working with generations of alumni as well as current and future students to help define and enhance their lives after graduating from W&L. I am deeply grateful to the mentors I have had throughout my time here, who have been integral influences on my path from student to alumnus to employee.”
Jensen joined W&L in 2011 as assistant dean in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, where he worked with faculty and deans to coordinate student-centered co-curricular programs, and worked on professional development, internships, alumni outreach and international opportunities. Before coming to W&L, Jensen served as a director of global equities for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Based in London and New York, he worked as a sales trader covering European and Canadian institutions and recruited interns for Bank of America from W&L and many other top colleges.
Jensen has been an active alumnus, serving as vice president of the New York City Alumni Chapter, chairing the New York City Fancy Dress Committee, and participating in the Alumni Admissions Program. He has been a class agent, co-chaired his 10th reunion committee, and served on his 15th and 20th reunion committees.
In this new structure, Jensen will have four direct reports to lead each of the four key areas. Tom Lovell ’91, currently director of alumni programs, will serve as director of Alumni Engagement, where he will oversee chapter programming, reunions, and inclusion and affinity programs. Molly Steele ’04, currently director of advising, will serve as director of Career and Professional Development, overseeing undergraduate and alumni career and professional development operations. Kelley Melvin ’08, currently director of communications for the Office of Career and Professional Development, will be in a new role as director of constituent strategy, where she will oversee communications and data analytics for Alumni and Career Services. Rob Fure will continue to serve as director of Lifelong Learning, responsible for alumni travel programs, summer college offerings and online programs, now reporting to Jensen.
“John has done an outstanding job leading W&L’s Career and Professional Development office,” said Sidney Evans, W&L’s vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. “Our students and young alumni see him as a mentor, and they see career services as an important part of their time here on campus. Merging it with Alumni Engagement is the logical next step in further strengthening those relationships, and we in Student Affairs look forward to continued collaboration with the team – and in particular Molly Steele in her new role – to support the development and success of our students.”
“The Office of Career and Professional Development has long established meaningful, long-lasting relationships with students that continue well after they graduate and join the alumni ranks while Alumni Engagement has a deep base of alumni volunteer support through its wide range of programs,” said Jensen. “I look forward to amplifying and strengthening those connections by enhancing student success and sustaining lifelong relationships with, and among, alumni and the university.”