Brenda Rudiger came to Michigan Tech in March of 2007 to become the Director of Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the Alumni Association. Within a few weeks of arriving in the Keweenaw, she experienced her first lake effect spring snowstorm and quickly learned just how much snow could accumulate in a very short time.
Prior to joining the team at Michigan Tech, Rudiger completed her MBA at Athabasca University (Alberta) in 2006 and worked at several higher education institutions in Canada in both communications and alumni relations roles.
During Rudiger's tenure with the alumni team, she developed numerous new engagement programs and expanded the number and variety of activities for the annual alumni reunion. "I was fortunate to work with so many talented and dedicated individuals, not only on staff but also on the volunteer Alumni Board of Directors," she said.
In 2010, Rudiger facilitated the department's move from the Meese Center back into the Alumni House. "With the support of the University and the Alumni Board of Directors, we were able to renovate the Alumni House, creating a warm and welcoming space for alumni and friends to visit when on campus," she said.
Over the years Rudiger's role has included overseeing the Annual Giving team, serving on the University Senate, and working on special task forces and projects such as the Generations of Discovery campaign celebration. She has especially enjoyed the opportunities to serve as an advisor to student organizations including Michigan Tech Student Foundation (MTSF) and Habitat for Humanity.
"This position has provided me with the opportunity to meet alumni across the US," she said. "This was a wonderful way to learn more about the country and gain insight into why Michigan Tech graduates are so bonded with their classmates, so willing to help fellow Huskies, and incredibly loyal to the school. I've come to understand that no matter when they graduated, Tech alumni share the experience of the University's remote location, long snowy winters, and very rigorous curriculum that required a high level of connectivity and cooperation for students to 'survive' and thrive here."
After 13 years working in alumni programming, Rudiger assumed the new role of Assistant Vice President for Advancement Services in 2020 to support the advancement communications, data management and research teams.
The Alumni Board of Directors voted to present Rudiger with an Honorary Alumni Award in 2020 in recognition of her service and support of the University characteristic of dedicated Michigan Tech alumni.