Special Events Assistant Director

Rochester, NY


The position oversees key activities of the Eastman School of Music Office of Advancement. They will report to the Director of Alumni Engagement with limited direction and latitude for independent judgement.

The Assistant Director will lead every aspect of multiple high-visibility engagement opportunities and events at Eastman, including Meliora Weekend, alumni and constituent engagement events, and Eastman Dean’s Circle events. They will collaborate with the Eastman Advancement team and Dean’s office, as well as University Alumni Relations and Constituent Engagement, Special Events, and Annual Giving teams to develop comprehensive event strategy focused on engaging, cultivating, and stewarding Eastman alumni, donors, faculty, students, parents, and other constituents.

This role requires significant attention to detail and strategic, forward thinking. The Assistant Director will be the primary record-keeper for all engagement and event data, properly logging all information in multiple systems, reporting data to both Eastman and Advancement leadership, and analyzing the data to drive strategy.


Event Strategy:

  • Develop and lead event strategy in consultation with program officers and leadership, partnering with relevant ESM and Advancement colleagues to execute the strategy. Recurring events include: Meliora Weekend, Dean’s Circle events, Advancement student engagement events, Day of Giving and Student Day of Giving on-site engagement, ESM National Council meetings, regional and local alumni engagement events, regional and local donor/prospect stewardship and cultivation events.

  • Serve as the primary contact for the Eastman Event Policy and Strategy Committee and event planner meetings, reporting on event strategy and objectives, and identifying collaboration opportunities.

Event Management:

  • Manage all aspects of Eastman Advancement events, including:

  • Articulate event objectives and goals with ESM leadership and program leads. Set and manage event timelines to ensure timely delivery of critical information. Establish and adhere to event budget. Meet with ESM Advancement leadership and appropriate program leads on a regular basis to maintain steady progress on each event.

  • Compile invitation lists

  • Oversee all event marketing and registration, including: mailing lists, invitations, registration webpages; manage invite dissemination and RSVPs, including reminder, day-of, and follow-up communication, and promotion by ESM and Advancement Marketing and Communications teams.

  • Research and secure venues and vendors (catering, AV, furniture, student/alumni musicians, flowers and décor, design and printing, photography, videography, transportation/parking), including virtual event spaces.

  • Develop and manage program flow and involvement of speakers, performers, and other program participants, which often includes the Dean, University leadership, high-level donors, and faculty. Write event briefings and prepare supporting materials (RSVP lists, research on key attendees, seating charts, format speaker remarks, etc.) for the Dean and University leadership, internal staff, volunteers and/or guest speakers.

  • Provide on-site support during events, including weekend and evening events, coordinating all event materials, registration, and serving as primary vendor contact on-site.

  • Format event briefings for the Eastman Dean and/or other leadership for all central Advancement events at which they are attending or speaking. Consult on event remarks and program listings referring to Eastman Dean and/or ESM leadership.

  • Field all event-related inquiries, communication, and feedback by event attendees including donors, alumni, and other constituents.

Event and Engagement Data, Reporting, and Analysis:

  • Collect, track, and record all ESM event and engagement data in CRM database. Includes: event invitation, registration, and participation; alumni engagement with ESM community via performances, master classes, mentoring, etc.

  • Manage and analyze ESM event data and provide post-event reporting to event organizers and leadership.

  • Regularly review all event and engagement data in CRM and shared databases for accuracy and integrity.

  • Maintain a complete knowledge of the CRM database and serve as ESM Advancement’s primary expert on usage of the system as it relates to events and engagement.

  • Create program-specific event and engagement reports and summaries to determine future strategy.

  • Maintain ESM Advancement event calendar, ensuring all appropriate events are added to the ESM public events calendar, Advancement intranet calendar, and any other relevant collaborative calendars.

  • Lead efforts with the CRM team to improve internal processes regarding data management and oversight as it pertains to engagement and event data.

Engagement Strategy:

  • Coordinate with ESM and Advancement communications on special projects and social media presence to increase alumni and constituent engagement, including social media strategy and takeovers. Collaborate for cross-campus promotion and marketing tactics to increase engagement of ESM community with Advancement activities and programming.

  • Oversee selection and maintenance of swag and gifts available for engaging and stewarding alumni, donors, faculty, students, and other constituents.

  • Collaborate with Eastman Alumni Engagement colleagues to effectively identify all non-event engagement opportunities, and strategize increased participation by alumni, students, faculty, parents, donors, and other constituents.

  • Analyze mailings, social media interactions, and other communications to better engage constituents and identify most active members of community to further engage in volunteer opportunities

Student Supervision:

  • Supervise two student workers who provide support for the ESM Advancement team, including onboarding, scheduling weekly meetings, assigning tasks and projects, and managing HR needs/issues (timecards, work expectations, etc.)

Other duties as assigned



  • A Bachelor’s degree

  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in event management, customer service and engagement, vendor management, advancement, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience with data management and tracking.

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills along with diplomacy and team orientation

  • Advanced technological competency in Microsoft Office (especially Excel) and familiarity with Advancement CRM systems (with training)

  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, working both independently and within a dynamic complex organization.

  • Ability to gather, condense and synthesize information and ability to provide accurate analysis

  • Superior relationship-building skills and an ability to interface with internal and external clients at all levels, including Advancement staff; University faculty and administrators; and external vendors, donors, alumni, friends, and students.

  • Some evening and weekend work; occasional travel required.

  • A personal belief in mission, goals, and objectives of private higher education.

The University of Rochester is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance the University’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better. In support of our values and those of our society, the University is committed to not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other status protected by law. This commitment extends to the administration of our policies, admissions, employment, access, and recruitment of candidates from underrepresented populations, veterans, and persons with disabilities consistent with these values and government contractor Affirmative Action obligations.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Pay Range

Pay Range: $60,431 - $84,603 Annually

The referenced pay range represents the minimum and maximum compensation for this job. Individual annual salaries/hourly rates will be set within the job’s compensation range, and will be determined by considering factors including, but not limited to, market data, education, experience, qualifications, expertise of the individual, and internal equity considerations.

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Location: Central Administration
Full/Part Time: Full-Time