University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
August 8, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

USA Names New Alumni Relations Director

Karen Webster Edwards
Karen Webster Edwards    

The University of South Alabama has named USA graduate and long-time alumni and development professional Karen Webster Edwards as its director of alumni relations.

Edwards, a member of USA’s class of 1980, will join USA in September. For the past two years, she has served as director of development at Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children: The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, located in Chicago. While there, she oversaw the national foundation, including fundraising, strategic planning, marketing, budgeting and grant writing. She also managed the foundation’s Leadership Institute and grant awards program and served as operating officer for the organization’s Board of Trustees.

Prior to that role, Edwards served for 10 years as Spring Hill College’s director of major gifts and special assistant to then-President Rev. Greg Lucey. She spearheaded fundraising efforts to build, restore or renovate many of the buildings on campus, and she worked closely with the college’s alumni director to build and expand alumni chapters across the country.

Edwards received her bachelor’s degree in communication from USA and attended the Leadership Development Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

“As the University of South Alabama alumni family continues to grow, it is important that we have an alumni leader who can help strengthen the bonds between the University and its graduates,” said USA President Gordon Moulton. “Karen Edwards brings a love of USA and impressive professional experience to her role as alumni director.”

“Karen Edwards is a talented USA alumna and a seasoned administrator in the alumni and development profession with the local, state and national experience we need to reach and engage our 62,000-plus alumni throughout this country and to help us create the programs necessary to reach alumni in over 100 nations around the world,” said USA Vice President for Development Dr. Joseph F. Busta.

“While the USA National Alumni Association is growing at a rapid pace, we have much more potential, and Karen will be able to bring her expertise to her new role to enable us to keep maximizing our potential,” said USA National Alumni Associate President Alexis Atkins, USA Class of 1997.

“The Board of Directors and I look forward to working with her to grow the Association and to expand our program offerings,”  Atkins added.

“It is both a thrill and an honor for me to return to my alma mater as its alumni director,” Edwards said.

“USA has experienced tremendous growth over the past 10 years, and I look forward to sharing that with our alumni across the country. Never in USA’s history has there been a better time for alumni to come home, be engaged and support this outstanding institution. I urge my fellow alumni to visit this beautiful campus – you will truly be amazed!”

Edwards replaces Carol Kittrell, who retired this spring.

The University of South Alabama currently enrolls more than 15,000 students and has awarded more than 70,000 degrees. The number of individual alumni in USA’s history total more than 62,000. For more information about the University, go to


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