Wayne State University

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New alumni officer brings experience, enthusiasm

December 20, 2012

Kathryn “Katie” Brennan’s new job as Wayne Law’s alumni relations officer brings her education and experience together into a “perfect fit.”

She earned her J.D. in 2006 from Michigan State University College of Law after earning a B.A. in business administration from MSU. But she didn’t take a traditional route after that.
“I started going to law school wanting to possibly be a prosecutor,” Brennan said. “About half way though, I realized that I didn’t want to practice law. But I wanted to finish. Education is never a waste. And I figured it would give me some great analytical and critical thinking skills. I knew it would always be a door opener. I was clerking for a sole practitioner all through law school. I did legal work, but I also did a lot of marketing work for him, and I realized I really enjoyed the marketing.”
So after law school, she went to work as a marketing specialist for General Motors R * Works. She liked the job, but she wanted more contact with other people than she was getting there. She went on to work in income development and event marketing for the American Cancer Society and then for the American Heart Association as a corporate events director.
“I fell in love with nonprofits — the causes, the good people,” Brennan said.
And then she heard about the alumni relations officer job at Wayne Law.
“With my law background, I thought, ‘This is a unique opportunity!” she said. “I know the constituency. My husband is a practicing attorney. So I’m very familiar with functions and events and the fact that you need to build strong relationships. I really enjoy working with people. I’m really fortunate because this position is a blend of everything I love to do. I’m excited.”
She has lots of ambitious goals for her new post.
“I want to do a more robust alumni engagement strategy for 2013 — all ages of alumni,” Brennan said. “We’re going to combine the Treasure of Detroit and the reunion into one stellar weekend event in the fall of 2013. Most of all, I want to have my eyes open and my ear to the ground on what the alumni want to see and what they’re doing. I’m developing a vision with the Law Alumni Association, and assisting the development team to increase the level of engaged alums and explore how they’re able to give back to the Law School and how the Law School can give back to them. I think in an ideal world, I’d like to see this alumni department become more research-based, one that engages the students, the alumni and the faculty together.”
Brennan is a runner, a dog lover, a dedicated baker, a passionate traveler and, as the owner of a new home, a novice but enthusiastic do-it-yourself decorator. She grew up in Royal Oak and lives now in Troy.
Alumni are invited to share their accomplishments, advice and suggestions by contacting Brennan at lawalumni@wayne.edu. She wants to hear from you.