headshot of Kris Harding
Kris Harding

Illinois State University announced the appointment of Kristin “Kris” Harding as the new executive director of Alumni Engagement. She begins her duties March 26, replacing Doris Groves, who retired in February.

A 1994 alumna of Illinois State with a master’s degree in educational administration and foundations, Harding has worked for the University for nearly 20 years. Beginning as an academic advisor in University College, she moved to the Office of Admissions in 2005, where she served in the roles of transfer coordinator and communication specialist before being promoted to assistant director and then associate director. Harding became director of constituent relations for the College of Education in December of 2014.

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“Illinois State has served as the launching pad for more than 210,000 alumni who are doing great things in Illinois, across the country, and around the world,” said Vice President of University Advancement Pat Vickerman. “Kris’ background in higher education, program development and implementation, and relationship skills have her ready to lead our Alumni Engagement efforts. She will help us connect alumni and further elevate engagement at Illinois State.”

Harding was honored in 2015 with the University’s Administrative Professional Distinguished Service Award. She won the 2018 Crystal Award for service from the Association for Women in Communications, of which she is president-elect for the Bloomington-Normal chapter. She is an alumna of Leadership Illinois, and part of the 2018 class of Leadership McLean County.

She served as the co-chair of Transfer Coordinators, the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling’s Project Reach, and the Teaching in the 21st Century Conference. She also served on the planning committee for the New Teacher Conference in the College of Education. For several years, she has been active with The Baby Fold’s Festival of Trees.