News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 29, 2014

SMWC names Leslie chief external relations officer


Special to the Tribune-Star

ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS — Dottie King, president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, has named Rachel Leslie as chief external relations officer at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College effective July 1, 2014.

In this senior leadership role, Leslie will serve on the president’s cabinet. She will promote the public image of the college and advance its financial sustainability through building and maintaining of relationships with community leaders, corporations and governmental officials, according to a news release from the college.

Leslie will help guide SMWC in complying with federal and state higher education regulations. She also will help oversee implementation of the new Wabash Valley Leadership Institute.

Leslie said she looks forward to working with local community leaders and state and national delegates to direct a comprehensive government relations, public policy and community engagement strategy for the college.

“I believe SMWC is best positioned today with liberal arts education, academic rigor and competitive athletic and extracurricular programming, matched with an inspirational setting [to create] an environment for a successful workforce for the state of Indiana and beyond,” she said. “I am proud to join the senior leadership team and develop key initiatives that will move SMWC to the next level — aspiring higher.”

In her previous position at SMWC, Leslie was associate vice president for advancement where she supported alumnae/alumni relations; annual giving;  major and planned giving; grants development; donor stewardship; research;  and data management. She managed comprehensive advancement programs with the goal of increasing philanthropic support.

Before working at SMWC, she held leadership positions at the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, including vice president and interim president.

Leslie earned a master’s degree in leadership development from SMWC and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication, public relations and journalism from Indiana State University.

She also earned the Institute of Organization Management certification, from the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Madison, Wisconsin.