Jennifer Dillavou named president of UI Alumni Alliance

Photograph by Larry Kanfer -

A 1982 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Education, Dillavou serves in a dual role as president of the University of Illinois Alumni Alliance (UIAA) and associate vice chancellor for alumni relations of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). As the UIAA president, Dillavou reports to the UIAA’s Board of Directors; the UIAA provides University of Illinois System alumni programs and services and provides overall strategic leadership of the organization. As the associate vice chancellor for alumni relations, she reports to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at UIUC and helps to shape the university’s alumni relations goals.

Early in her career, Dillavou served as a development associate with the University of Illinois Foundation. Most recently, she was assistant vice president of alumni relations & executive director for the OHIO Alumni Association at Ohio University in Athens, OH. In this role, she oversaw an alumni association that serves 220,000 graduates from six campuses; established a strategic vision for the organization and implemented tactical plans; and employed innovative tools and techniques to better engage both alumni and students. Under her leadership, the OHIO Alumni Association received over two dozen Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awards for excellence in alumni and student programming. Previously, she served in roles at the Indiana University Alumni Association, Georgia State University Alumni Association, and Carnegie Mellon University, where her responsibilities included overseeing a capital campaign, annual strategic planning process, alumni communications, and membership programs.

Dillavou is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois College of Education. She has also been recognized by her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, as an Impactful Alpha Gam.

“The University of Illinois has always been present in my life,” said Dillavou, the first woman to hold a permanent president position at the UIAA. “As a native of Champaign, a first-generation college graduate and someone who launched her career in alumni relations at the UI Foundation, I owe a great debt of gratitude to this incredible institution. I simply could not be more proud to have been selected as president of the UI Alumni Alliance and associate vice chancellor for alumni relations of U of I at Urbana-Champaign, and I can think of no greater honor or privilege than to come home and practice the profession I love at my Alma Mater.’

“Jennifer has a wealth of experience in alumni relations and a strong passion for the University of Illinois,” said former UI Alumni Alliance Board of Directors Chair Bill Stratton. “We are confident that in her dual role she will advocate for the University of Illinois System, with an emphasis on leading alumni programs and services for Illinois alumni.”

“Jennifer is an experienced alumni relations professional who has seen the U of I System as a student, as an alumna and as an employee early in her career,” said Timothy Killeen, president of the U of I System. “She is an ideal choice to build on our already deep connection with nearly 711,000 graduates around the world, and seize on their collective talents and passion to move our great Universities forward. I am delighted by her appointment.”

“We have more than 450,000 Illinois alumni who are vocal and enthusiastic advocates for this University and amplify our reputation for excellence across the nation and around the globe,” said Robert J. Jones, chancellor of the U of I at Urbana-Champaign. “A strong alumni association that is tightly integrated into our entire enterprise is critical to our ability to engage with our graduates and to help them stay connected with their University. We’re excited to welcome Jennifer back here to Illinois as part of our advancement leadership team to lead us in this new direction.”