Class Officer Spotlight: Rebecca Ihnen ’16 Posted on March 16th, 2018 by

Written by Cathy Villars Harms ‘85

The featured Class Officer for this quarter is Rebecca Ihnen.  Last newsletter we shared the story about Owen Sammelson ’58 and how he has successfully reached participation rates over 60% in his class with his personal touch. Now we learn about a plan to engage one of our newest classes and one that is very challenged with lots of student loan debt.

Allow me to introduce Rebecca:

Name:  Rebecca Ihnen

Graduation:  2016

Major:  Music Performance and a minor in Arts Administration and Communications

Activities at GAC:  Played oboe in GWO and GSO, made calls with GusLink

Hometown: West Des Moines, IA

Where is she now?  Living in Omaha, NE

What is she doing?  Office Manager for Opera Omaha.

How long has she been a Class Officer?  Fall 2016.

Many of our classes would love to have what the class of 2016 has – 8 Class Officers all working as a team to keep their classmates engaged with Gustavus. Each of the roles has at least 2 people and they split up the responsibilities so that no one person is overwhelmed. Becca had been called by the CO Pres – Logan Boese and was asked to be one of the Philanthropy Chairs. She accepted the challenge last fall and has enjoyed being part of the team. Although they live in many parts of the country, they connect monthly using Google Hangouts.

The most impressive part of the work that Becca does is her passion for setting goals and meeting goals. She worked with her team of Class Officers to put together a plan to set goals for each of the 5 years leading up to their first reunion. Some of their goals include increasing the number of classmates in their Facebook group, having class events, encouraging participation in GAC events (Homecoming, Nobel, C in CC, etc.), fundraising goals (more participation rate than dollar amount), plus communication plans. As a team they set numbers for each of these key performance indicators for the 5 years leading up to their first reunion!

Becca enjoys writing thank you notes to all classmates who have given to Gustavus. She also utilizes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to raise awareness of the big campaigns – Give to Gustavus Day and Rally Days. The key is to make it as easy as possible for classmates to give through any of these channels. In addition to social media, Becca sends out emails to classmates during the key campaigns to encourage giving to the Annual Fund. She appreciates the lists and help she gets from Philly to email the classmates most likely to give. The bottom line for Becca is focusing on getting classmates engaged and making sure that everyone feels welcome to participate.

As a busy young professional,  it is a challenge to balance everything she is involved with. Her words of wisdom – start out with what you can handle and don’t feel guilty about not being able to do more. All the work done by Class Officers is so appreciated and every written note, email sent, phone call made, Facebook post, tweet, etc.  makes a difference.

Thank you to Becca for being a Class Officer and we wish her the best as the Class of 2016 shoots for their goals!


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