UMass Amherst Names JC Schnabl as the New Executive Director of Alumni Association

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst has named JC Schnabl to be the assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations and executive director of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. The announcement was made today by Michael A. Leto, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations. Schnabl begins his new duties in mid-February, Leto says.

Schnabl succeeds Anna Symington, who was the executive director of the association from November 2008 until June 2010, when she retired.

Leto says Schnabl is an excellent choice for the job. "JC is joining UMass Amherst from one of the top alumni associations in the nation. He is a proven leader with a collaborative style and is an excellent communicator. I am confident that in working with the UMass Amherst Alumni Association leadership, he will have a positive impact in serving our alumni and in supporting campus priorities."

The UMass Amherst Alumni Association represents and serves more than 225,000 alumni worldwide. For more than 137 years, the association has played an integral role in the school’s success and has helped boost its reputation as a top public research university, Leto says.

The association serves as a gateway for students and alumni to build relationships with each other and the university. Through campus traditions, alumni clubs, awards and scholarships, professional development programs, and volunteer opportunities, the UMass Amherst Alumni Association seeks to create an engaging environment that enriches the student and alumni experience.

Schnabl says, "I am very excited to be joining the UMass Amherst Alumni Association at such an important time in the university’s history. In partnership with our volunteer and campus leaders, we will work to understand and meet the needs of our more than 225,000 Minutemen worldwide, creating opportunities for them to connect with one another and with UMass Amherst while enhancing their personal, professional and intellectual lives."

Schnabl comes to the university from the University of California, Los Angeles where he has been deputy assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations since 2007.

He was the director of development at the California State University Long Beach School of Nursing from 2004-07 and served as the school’s director of grants, contracts and foundation programs for the CSU Long Beach Foundation from 2001-04. From 1999-2001, Schnabl was vice president for business development and operations at Intelligent Horizon, Inc. a Newport Beach, Calif., company that develops database software for web-hosted business software applications.

From 1992-99 Schnabl worked as a police officer, SWAT team member, community relations director and middle school instructor for the Gardena Police Department in Gardena, Calif., a city of 50,000 just south of Los Angeles.

Schnabl has just completed work on a doctorate in higher education management at the University of Southern California. He earned an MBA from the University of California, Irvine and is a certified specialist in planned giving from CSU Long Beach. He earned a bachelor’s degree in science and business management from the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif.

The UMass Amherst Alumni Association was founded in 1874, was incorporated in 1919, is a registered non-profit corporation in Massachusetts and is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization.

In 2010, members approved a membership restructure that discontinued the dues requirement to be a member of the association, thereby becoming more inclusive. The association relies on alumni membership investments to sustain its efforts to continue to provide services and programs to alumni and students.

A board of directors made up of 31 alumni volunteers, one appointed faculty or staff member and two appointed students governs the association.

Support for the board comes from the association staff who oversee alumni member services, alumni communications and marketing, alumni clubs and programs, and career, student and volunteer programs, and are located in Memorial Hall on the UMass Amherst campus.