Carmen Germino steps down as director of alumni relations and is succeeded by Gail Briggs
Gail Briggs, associate director of alumni and parent programs at Wesleyan University, has been appointed director of alumni relations at Yale Divinity School and will assume her new position on June 23. Briggs succeeds Carmen Germino ’07 M.Div., who stepped down from the Alumni Relations office at the end of May to continue work on an S.T.M. degree in Anglican studies at YDS/BDS as she seeks to answer a call to parish ministry. Germino is in the ordination process in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.
At Wesleyan, Briggs has been responsible for helping identify and recruit volunteer leaders; creating educational programs for alumni in key U.S. cities and on campus; working with gift officers and Annual Fund colleagues about prospective donors; and overseeing the university’s educational travel program.
“I'm honored to become part of this warm and vibrant community and am eager to meet and work with alumni, faculty, students and staff,” said Briggs, who assumed her current position at Wesleyan in 2002. “A first order of business for me will be to learn more about the school's rich curriculum and to create additional opportunities for alumni to ‘return to the classroom’ by enhancing campus and regional programming.”
Briggs held a variety of positions at Wesleyan beginning in 1997. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Connecticut College and an interior design certificate from the Rhode Island School of Design.
“I look forward to highlighting the School's outstanding faculty and the important work being done by alumni and students, and to creating more occasions for alumni to interact with one another and with current students,” Briggs said. “The overarching goal will be to give alumni more reasons to visit and to stay in touch with the Yale Divinity School.”
At her last meeting with the YDS Alumni Board in mid-April, Germino offered thanks for the opportunity to serve as director of alumni relations and described some of the pleasures of filling the position—some unexpected.
"My favorite part of this work has been the wonderful conversations I have had with alumni about their lives, their ministries, their good memories of YDS, and occasionally even their frustrations,” said Germino, who is in the ordination process in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.
“Part of what I learned to see as a joy in this job were the complaints,” she explained, noting that those who complained “did it from a place of caring deeply about this place” and are part of a broader base of alumni who “feel comfortable sharing their dreams and hopes for what it could be.”
Many alums, observed Germino, think they were at YDS “during the Golden Age of Yale Divinity School. Whether it’s Roland Bainton or Letty Russell or Emilie Townes, it’s the Golden age. And that’s one of the really neat things about this institution—that they’re all right.”
As director of alumni relations, Germino has helped direct the YDS Annual Fund and has been instrumental in keeping the Fund vibrant during several years of national financial turmoil. Another major task during her three-year tenure was to work with Alumni Board committees to streamline and improve Convocation and Reunions, which has grown in recent years.
Germino said she is confident that alums will be in good hands with Briggs.