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Davidson Selects Matt Merrell '84 as New Alumni Director

Matt Merrell
New Alumni Director Matt Merrrell '84.

October 23, 2000
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

Davidson College has hired Matthew B. Merrell, a 1984 graduate of the college and resident of the Town of Davidson, as its new director of alumni relations. Merrell's appointment is effective November 1, when he will succeed Eileen Keeley, a 1989 graduate who is becoming the college's new director of capital gifts.

Merrell's spouse, Kathy Bray Merrell, serves as the college's associate dean of admissions and financial aid, and the couple has lived in town with their two children since 1996. Merrell joins the college staff following 12 years in law practice, most recently at his own firm of Bentz & Merrell.

He is a long-time volunteer with the Annual Fund, and looks forward to working full-time for Davidson. "I look at my four years at Davidson as the best of my life," he said. "I developed deep and intense friendships that I've maintained steadily since that time. I was also intellectually challenged in a way that I had never been before, and haven't been since. I'm passionate and committed to serving the college."

Jamie May, Davidson's vice president for college relations, said Merrell's enthusiasm is matched by his administrative skills. "In addition to becoming the face of the college for our 15,000 alumni, Matt faces the big challenge of organizing programming on campus and around the world that will maintain their interest in Davidson. He has shown an ability to supervise employees and track detail that will assure that our alumni receive high-quality service from their alma mater."

Merrell claims that Davidson alumni are "some of the most interesting people in the world," and plans an intense travel schedule for the first year of work to meet as many as possible at alumni chapter meetings around the country. His priorities in the new job include developing more family-oriented programming, a more deliberate effort to involve students in alumni activities, and development of new ways to bring alumni back to campus.

Merrell was a history major at Davidson, and worked for a year as an admissions counselor following his graduation. He served as a hall counselor for first year students, and was elected as defense advisor for the Honor Council. He was also involved in theatrical productions, chorus, intramural sports, and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He received his law degree from UNC in 1988.

His current community involvement includes service as vice chair of the Davidson Housing Coalition, service as a board member for the Davidson Community Players and the Strong Tower Free Medical Clinic, and coaching youth sports.

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