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News Release

April 5, 2018

Rathje appointed to vice president of external relations

Dr. Lonelle Rathje

Dr. Lonelle Rathje

Northwest Missouri State University has named Dr. Lonelle Rathje as its vice president of external relations to lead the offices of University Advancement, Marketing and Communication, and Student Recruitment.

“Given my experience as a first-generation college student at Northwest, I am devoted to this University,” Rathje said. “Not only am I energized by Northwest’s successful, student-centric paradigm in my roles as an administrator and educator, but I find inspiration in the innovative thinking, collaboration and design practices that create opportunity in the lives of our students, faculty, staff and our broader Bearcat family.”

Rathje will oversee Northwest’s front-facing functions among the offices of University Advancement, Marketing and Communication and Student Recruitment. As a member of the Northwest Leadership Team, she will serve as the key integrator of an aligned University-wide strategic platform for sales and marketing to strengthen relationships and engagement opportunities related to Northwest’s strategic focus.

“Enhancing collaborative synergies can be a component of re-envisioning a new business model that leads to meaningful outcomes,” Rathje said. “Notably, such can lead to strength in student, faculty and programmatic achievements; value messaging that resonates among diverse stakeholders; and a foundation for organizational sustainability.”

Rathje has served as executive director of development and campaign coordinator within Northwest’s Office of University Advancement since March 2014. She provides the overall strategic direction for Northwest fundraising and its comprehensive campaign. The University Advancement team achieved several historical, philanthropic milestones in support of Northwest, including the completion of a $21 million campaign to construct the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse. Subsequently, the University Advancement team received the nationally prestigious 2017 Educational Fundraising Award for Overall Performance from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Her experience in implementing and managing a variety of synergistic approaches achieved success at not only small private schools and colleges but also large public universities such as The University of Arizona as director of development and marketing, in advancement consulting at Hartsook Companies as senior vice president, at Doane College as associate vice president for advancement, at Brownell-Talbot College Preparatory School as director of the Office of Institutional Advancement, and during her previous work at Northwest as the director of development. Additionally, Rathje has extensive teaching experience at Purdue University, Park University, Bellevue University and Northwest.

“Synergies and integration are themes within our restructuring and have been throughout higher education,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Lonelle brings an incredible depth of experience, intellectual curiosity, a research agenda, an academic lens and so much more to this position. She is a broad-based leader and will serve us well as a strategic unifier.”

Rathje holds a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has a Master of Arts degree in English and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, both from Northwest. Her research interests include women’s leadership, higher education management and innovative practices, resource development, teaching best practices, first-generation college students and adult learners.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215