Golden named assistant VP for alumni relations at Rice

Marthe “Marta” Druska Golden, director of student and employer services and of communications and outreach at the University of Chicago, has been appointed assistant vice president for alumni relations at Rice University. She will also serve as executive director of the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA).

“Marthe brings an incredibly diverse range of skills and experiences to Rice, including her ability to manage complex, universitywide initiatives and build strong relationships with strategic partners within and beyond the university,” said Darrow Zeidenstein, Rice’s vice president for development and alumni relations. “Rice’s loyal alumni community will benefit greatly from her incredible enthusiasm, creativity and passion for her work.”

Golden joined the University of Chicago’s Office of Career Advancement in 2005 as assistant director of events and marketing. Over the past decade she has managed alumni steering committees and advisory boards, helped create and launch a departmental website, managed career fairs for the university’s more than 5,000 undergraduate and 8,000 graduate students and served as executive board president of the Big Ten Plus Consortium.

In her current role, she oversees advising, programming and employer services as well as the office’s print and online communications strategy. She also works closely with the  Office of Alumni Relations and Development, the Alumni Board of Governors, the Parent and Family Leadership Council and the Office of College Admissions to increase support of the university’s career-focused initiatives, including internships and preprofessional and full-time job programs.

At Rice, Golden will lead the university’s 48,000 alumni in support of the institution’s goals and build a strong and supportive community among Rice’s external constituents.

“One of the ways universities thrive and grow is to have a strong alumni population out in the world nationally and internationally, talking about their college experiences and showing a lot of pride in their institution,” Golden said. “The experience starts when the students are still at the university, and it’s important to create continuity so that when students transition to their role as alumni, they are able to maintain a connection with the institution. Every single person I have talked to at Rice has an incredible passion and pride in Rice University, and I want to become part of that.”

Golden has a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y., and a master’s in liberal arts from the University of Chicago.

Having served as president of the Fordham Chicago-Area Alumni Club for five years, Golden has experience with alumni relations “on both sides of the table” that she said has given her a good sense of how important alumni volunteers are and how important grassroots discussions about the university are to the school’s brand.

“One of the most exciting elements of this role at Rice is the opportunity to be as strong a communicator as possible, reaching out to alumni at all stages of their experience,” Golden said. “I want to immerse myself at Rice to really get to know the alumni population and understand the institution.”

Golden will assume her new role at Rice July 21. “It’s clear that Rice is an institution that is poised for great continued success, and I’m thrilled to be part of the team moving the university into the new century,” she said.

Rice alumnus Scott Wise, current ARA president, said he is looking forward to working with Golden. “Marthe has the skills and personal qualities we need in the leader of our alumni,” he said. “She is bright, articulate and a great listener — all of which mesh well with her high energy level.”

Prior to joining the University of Chicago team, Golden worked in public affairs and media relations for the Illinois Restaurant Association, Dome Communications and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Originally from Defiance, Ohio, Golden said she is happy to move to Houston. “Houston is a vibrant, diverse and exciting city. Plus, we had a brutal Midwestern winter. It’s not hard to say goodbye to that,” she said.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.