New Alumni Relations director settles into role

Allison Mueller

New Alumni Relations Director Mark Reitan assumed his position this semester. After months of searching, Reitan took over the role in January. (Photo by Nikko Aries)
New Alumni Relations Director Mark Reitan assumed his position this semester. After months of searching, Reitan took over the role in January. (Photo by Nikko Aries)

Michaela Gaffke / Winonan

Winona State University welcomes a new face on campus and in town, Mark Reitan, as the new Alumni Relations director, after being without a director since August.

Tracy Hale, associate director of Alumni Relations, was busy last semester doing both her job and the director’s job during the hiring process.

“It usually takes four to six months, there are so many channels and steps to go through,” Hale said regarding the process.

After months of searching, the faculty welcomed Reitan to the position.

“The faculty has been very welcoming,” Reitan said. “They are a dedicated group of employees who want to make you feel welcomed, and it has been very much appreciated.”

Reitan moved into Somsen 206 in January, with a busy transition into his new career. Already he has been to Arizona, attending many of the alumni events that were already scheduled. He is looking forward to expanding and enhancing the alumni relations on campus.

Hale said things are going well, and Reitan fits right in.

“[Reitan is] easy to talk to, interested in learning about the alumni and their stories about Winona, and how people are proud to share their stories and experiences here,” Hale said.

Reitan says his favorite part about coming to Winona State has been gaining a connection with the alumni, and he is looking forward to using the knowledge he has gained from working at a small university and at a large university prior to working at Winona State.

Reitan worked at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terra Haute, Ind. as the major gift officer and the University of Minnesota as executive director for the MHA Foundation and Alumni Association.

“Winona State’s campus isn’t too small, it isn’t too large, it fits right in the middle,” Reitan said. “And it’s a beautiful area.”

Reitan said his favorite spot in Winona is the Great Rivers Bluff, because of the view, and his love for the outdoors.

Reitan lives in an apartment in Winona, and his wife, Kirsten, lives in Green Bay where she works for the gifted and talented program.

“She is really good at what she does. She serves on the state board, has presentations at national conferences,” Reitan said. “She is a wonderful friend and companion in life, and I admire her. She is very special.”

He sees his wife on the weekends, and they have three adult sons, David, Erik and Hans.

“You have a perfect size organization, in a beautiful setting, close to many of the resources my wife and I enjoy. I love being able to hunt, fish, camp, bike, all those things we do,” Reitan said. “For us, fishing, camping, hiking, skiing, all those things are here­—plus the opportunity to give back to the university that I think has done a marvelous job establishing its recognition and reputation in this market.”

By Michaela Gaffke