Rich Aune ‘81 has been named director of admissions for Gustavus by an announcement from Vice President for Enrollment Management Tom Crady.
Aune worked for the admissions office for four years after his graduation in 1981 and returned to the office in 1989 where he has been working ever since. In his career, Aune has served as an admission counselor, assistant director, associate director and senior associate director, and he has also served the campus as a head resident with his wife Tami ’82.
“I truly think it’s an exciting time to be at Gustavus, with the new building and lots of other positive aspects, and I hope to be a part of making Gustavus an even more special place than it already is,” Aune said.
“He just seemed like a natural choice, and I’m very pleased he chose to do this. He’s got a great comprehensive view of Gustavus, and he’s also an alumnus,” Crady said.
Aune will assume more responsibility as the director of admission, and he will also retain his old duties. The director is responsible for the oversight of the admission office’s day-to-day operations, in cooperation with the vice president for enrollment management. Aune’s personal tasks will still include working with transfer students, local PSEO students and Minnesota high school students.
“I anticipate we’ll have some additional discussions over the next four to five months with Tom Crady, the vice president, as to what other things he might want me to do in this role,” Aune said.
“I’m excited for the challenges we’ll face in terms of enrollment. I look forward to working with Tom Crady in developing an admission program that continues to be one of the best around,” Aune said.
In addition to Aune’s 25 plus years of service in Gustavus admissions, the office has plenty of veteran staff, many of them Gustavus alumni. Together, they face the challenges of a changing admission environment that has developed technologically, as well as in other aspects.
“It’s nice to have new voices and veteran experience; the combination works well, and it keeps it fun,” Senior Associate Director of Admissions Alan Meier ‘87 said.
Aune’s coworkers agree that he was a sensible choice for the position.
“He’s good to work with, and I think a good choice for the position,” Meier said.
Another veteran employee and Gustavus graduate, Senior Associate Director of Admission Bob Neuman ’80, agreed.
“Rich is a great guy; he’s dedicated, committed and smart. He knows college admission and Gustavus, and he cares deeply about both. It’s part of his commitment to this place and to the students here, and the process that they go through—he’s built his life around it,” Neuman said.
As the Admissions Office works through a transitional year, they are adapting to both new employees and old employees in new positions. The process of college admissions has changed significantly in the recent past, and information becomes more and more digitized and web design becomes a larger factor.
Gustavus’s admission program has done its best to stay on the cutting edge and continue to provide a positive experience for prospective and incoming students.
“We always think about one of the strengths of this office for all of the time I’ve worked here is [its] willingness to look at new ways to do things, and that each member of the staff is comfortable in talking about ways in which we can do things better,” Aune said.
As Aune assumes more responsibility in the office, the strength of his connection to his coworkers will be more important than ever.
“He’s a fun guy to work around, and has a lot of outstanding qualities that make him a good admission person,” Neuman said.
“I’m honored to have been selected and will do everything I can to make the admission office a place that’s welcome for all people connected to the Gustavus community, and that’s just carrying on the tradition that’s been here since the college began, really,” Aune said.