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Volume 72, Issue 136, Tuesday, April 24, 2007


HAO leader bids UH farewell

Hall accepts position in Boston after 12 years at the helm of organization

The Daily Cougar

The president and chief executive officer of the Houston Alumni Organization will leave UH for Boston University in May to accept a vice president position in Boston's alumni program.

Steve Hall, who has been at UH for almost 30 years and head of the alumni organization for 12, said it will be hard to leave his alma mater behind.

"It really is like leaving a home as it is leaving a job for me," he said. "There are lots of great friends, relationships and colleagues."

Hall said he is expecting a culture shock in his move to the Northeast, but he is looking forward to the new challenge.

"It's probably been a competitive advantage running the Houston Alumni Organization being a alumnus of Houston, and I won't have that going for me at Boston," he said. "But I think it's an exciting opportunity to find out if I've learned anything after all these years."

Hall graduated from Houston with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1981.

During his senior year, Hall started to work for UH in the chancellor's office. Hall then received a job in the alumni organization in 1984. In 1989, he moved to the development office and stayed there for five years.

Hall went to Washington State University in 1994 for a brief stint as vice president of major gifts. He moved back to Houston in 1995 to take the role of the president and CEO of HAO.

In 2006, the alumni organization received the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's highest honor when it presented HAO with the Grand Gold Medal in Alumni Relations.

Tom Cassidy, director of alumni programs, said Hall always put UH first.

"Steve Hall has been a person who always had the best interest of the University at his heart," he said. "He's been one who hasn't been afraid to say what he thinks and how he feels about the University and where it needs to go. I think that has drawn a lot of admiration from a lot of people, including his staff."

In his five years as executive director of development operations, Hall served as a member of the senior campaign staff for the $350 million Creative Partnerships Campaign.

"His ability to get along with people, particularly volunteers, is outstanding, and I think he will be missed," Liz Ghrist, president of the Alumni Association, said. Hall is a board member and president-elect of the Council of Alumni Association Executives. Hall has also served on the CASE philanthropy commission and has frequently contributed to the CASE publications.

"Steve Hall is at the top of the game in the alumni relations business," Cassidy said. "So (Boston) is getting a superior individual that will go up there and that will start lay down a foundation for a great alumni organization they're going to have a great leader."

Hall's last day at Houston will be May 31, and he said he is looking forward to his future.

"(I have) no fears. There's excitement and there's certainly some anxiety, but my family and I are approaching this as a big adventure," he said.

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