Northwestern names new alumni director

Rachel Van Den Broek, Orange City, has been named Northwestern College’s director of alumni and parent relations. Van Den Broek, who is currently an admissions counselor at the college, will begin her new position July 1.

Van Den Broek has been working in higher education since graduating from Northwestern College in 2002. She completed a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Iowa in 2003 and served as an instructional services and outreach librarian at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich., for two years.

Van Den Broek returned to her alma mater as an admissions counselor in 2005. Ron De Jong, vice president for external relations, says Van Den Broek has a “tremendous work ethic” and is exceptionally relational. “Rachel has been a critical contributor to the college’s record enrollment,” he says.

Van Den Broek, a native of Pella, Iowa, is eager to support Northwestern’s mission in a new role. “What I experienced as a student—a commitment to faith and learning within the context of community—is still happening here. I love that, and I want others to reconnect with that.

“I’m excited to hear stories of alums’ experiences as students,” she says, “and I want to find out what’s been happening in their lives since then.”

“Rachel is creative, innovative and high energy,” says John Greller, vice president for advancement. Van Den Broek also loves to travel, and Greller says, “I envision her taking Northwestern on the road to alumni and friends of the college across the country.”

Van Den Broek used technology to enhance her admissions role, and Greller expects she will do the same with alumni and parents. “Rachel will look for new ways to meaningfully reconnect alumni with their alma mater through online communities and networking,” he says.

A sociology major who graduated from Northwestern with honors, Van Den Broek was an admissions ambassador and student government representative. She was honored as the college’s Homecoming queen during her senior year.

Van Den Broek participated in Spring Service Projects all four years she was in college. As a Northwestern employee, she has helped lead two service trips to New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.

Van Den Broek replaces Karen Woudstra, who served as director of alumni and parent relations from 2001 until 2006.