DECATUR — For most of us, it’s difficult to keep tabs on distant family members and friends. Imagine how difficult it is to keep an eye on 18,000 people.
That’s the job Gina Bianchi has as the new Jan Devore at Millikin University.
Devore retired June 30 as senior director of alumni and donor engagement after 35 years at Millikin. Bianchi took over, moving from a similar role at Illinois State University, Normal.
Dave Brandon, vice president of alumni and development, said Bianchi is responsible for the overall management of Millikin’s alumni office and events designed to engage alumni and friends with the life of the university.
“There are 19 people in the office,” Bianchi said. The group includes Deb Kirchner, who is in charge of the Mil-likin Quarterly magazine, distributed to alumni across the country.
From Granville and Putnam County High School, Bianchi has a sports background. She played shortstop and second base in softball. “I was a Millikin transfer,” she said. “I attended Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby for two years, then finished at Millikin, graduat-ing in 1993.”
She worked at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, for three years as resident hall director, softball coach and summer camps coordinator.
In 1996 she joined the Illinois State University staff at the athletic study center and as an athletics admini-stration assistant. In 2004 she was athletic development coordinator and director of the annual fund. Later she was director of development for the division of student affairs and for six years was director of alumni relations.
“I was happy at Illinois State,” she said. “When the opening at Millikin came up I couldn’t resist the opportunity to serve my alma mater.”
Bianchi enjoys golfing and is a Chicago Cubs baseball fan. She was once a runner. Now, she enjoys keeping up with those 18,000.