Stephen was born and raised in Ohio, but has been known to occasionally root for the Wolverines. Upon graduating from Western Reserve Academy, he headed west to attend Lewis & Clark, but not before taking a gap year to work in the wine industry in the Napa Valley. At LC he relished his time with professors. Whether it was exploring Italian cathedrals in art history with Stewart Buettner, painting with Phyllis Yes, sharing poems and creative writing with Vern Rutsala, debating geo-politics with Cyrus Partvoi, or crafting glazes and firing kilns in ceramics with Ted Vogel.
During college he spent his summers managing Olallie Lake Resort where he fell in love with the Oregon cascades. Graduating in 2000 with BA in Ceramics, Stephen traveled back to Ohio to build and manage a ceramics studio before returning to Oregon and joining alumni & parent programs in 2005.
Stephen spent the next 10 years in alumni and parent programs building relationships with alumni by planning class reunions, hosting regional events, managing the Albany Society Board of Directors, and supporting the Board of Alumni. “I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with alumni who graduated in the 1950’s. They gave me a whole new understanding of Lewis & Clark and the unique role the college played in their lives” Stephen reflects.
During this time, Stephen was integral in the success of some of LC’s signature events like the Alumni Honors Banquet, Alumni Weekend, Homecoming, and the Commencement Banquet. One of his favorite duties was planning regional events because he was able to travel with faculty like Greta Binford, Steve Beckham, and Cyrus Partovi. “I’ll never forget sitting next to Steve Beckham on a flight to Denver” he says. “I had 2 and half hours to learn as much as I could about Oregon, and I even had the return flight to look forward to!” Stephen was also pulled into side projects like helping transition from Benefactor to Raiser’s Edge and leading the implementation of BlackBaud Netcommunity which brought different event registration, donation, payment, and email marketing systems into one integrated software.
As a senior associate director, Stephen created the Parents Council and helped the department communicate with parents in a more inclusive and proactive way. He also developed the Summer Send Off events as a way for incoming students and parents to connect with other first year students and parents within their own neighborhoods. Finally, Stephen served as Interim Director of Alumni and Parent Programs before leaving the department in 2015 to join Annual Giving as a Leadership Annual Giving officer.
His 7 years in Annual Giving provided him with new insights into the generosity and passion alumni, parents, and friends have for Lewis & Clark. He continued to build relationships with some of LC’s most fervent supporters and help them identify their impact on campus. Promoted to the Director of Annual Giving in 2017, Stephen led increased giving to the Annual Fund and started new initiatives to increase the culture of philanthropy among students and alumni.
After spending 17 years fostering relationships with alumni and parents at LC in a variety of roles, Stephen was named Vice-President for Engagement in July 2022. In this role, he plans to utilize his extensive experience to increase the number of alumni engaged with Lewis & Clark and help them find their area of impact on campus. “Alumni have a tremendous impact on the lives of students and LC grows stronger every time alumni get involved on campus. Whether it is volunteering at an event or mentoring a student, welcoming new graduates to their city, making an annual gift, or just bragging about the great place they went to college. Alumni are vital to LC’s continued success.”
Stephen lives in St. Johns with his wife Jennifer ’96 and two sons Harry and Walter. When not at work you’ll find him paddling a canoe, cheering on the Thorns, camping in Oregon’s wilds, or sailing on the Columbia.