June Alumnae Spotlight, Kimberly Reese, Merry Mac of 1991

In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?

As the Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Xavier University of Louisiana effective communication is paramount. It is my job as the liaison for alumni and a senior level fundraiser to tell the Xavier story in a way that speaks to both the head and the heart. I have to make the case for Xavier University everyday through various forms of narrative. It was at Ursuline where I received the foundation of communication, both written and verbal. I recall short papers and term papers being the foundation of English class at Ursuline. I can specifically, recall my junior year and the tremendous amount time spent on comma splices and the appropriate use of commas and semicolons. During my senior year, we were required to write letters to the military serving in the Gulf War. Little did I know that my pen pal class assignment would also contribute to my ability to communicate with alumni and donors in a more personal style. I have to admit one of the highlights of my day, was attending speech and drama classes. Mrs. Nolan was so much fun and very informative. Her lessons on proper pronunciation and articulation would certainly benefit me in the dozens of speeches and appeals I make annually.

Please describe the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy.

Times change values do not. I often repeat this phrase to my girls and I certainly recite the phrase to myself several times per week. In such a simple, but powerful message I am reminded that the core of who we are should not change based on the moment or decade, but serve as both a compass and anchor in our daily lives, but certainly in times of challenges. As women, our values are tested daily, it has been my experience that when you know who and whose you are there is less internal conflict.

Describe Ursuline in one word. Explain. 

Power – Girl Power! Ursuline teaches that girls really do run the world. I often tell my friends it was at Ursuline that I learned the meaning of real Girl Power. At Ursuline girls did everything. We were the leaders, organizers and facilitators. If something needed to be moved, we got together and moved it. Ooh to be an Ursuline Girl!

About Kimberly Reese

Kimberly Reese is the Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is a 1991 graduate of Ursuline Academy and Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (1995) and Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction (1998). In her current role, she is responsible for planning and managing a comprehensive alumni and annual fund giving program that will increase alumni engagement and giving. During her tenure in Alumni Relations, Kimberly increased alumni engagement by more than 100%, co-founded the University’s Day of Giving program, developed a comprehensive annual giving program, expanded Homecoming, increased the number of chartered chapters, established the inaugural Alumni Leadership Conference and introduced alumni travel programs.
 
Prior to joining the Institutional Advancement team, Kimberly served as the Assistant Dean of Students at Xavier University of Louisiana. She directed the Center for Student Leadership and Service which included New Student Orientation and Leadership Programs, the First Year Experience Program (FYE), Service-Learning, and Volunteer Services. In this capacity she also served as the assistant administrator of the student judicial system at Xavier University.
 
Kimberly is an active member of the PTO at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in New Orleans and Women of the Storm, an organization of regional women affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita who are committed to the rebuilding of their cities. She most recently served on the St. Peter Claver Catholic Church fundraising committee. Kimberly serves as a board member for the Edgar “Dooky” Jr. and Leah Chase Family Foundation and volunteers with the New Orleans Recreation Department. She has co-authored numerous grants totaling over $2 million and facilitated workshops/trainings locally and nationally.
 
Kimberly is the proud mom of two daughters: Kimberly and Omari. Her family loves high school football, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and vacationing with family and friends.
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