A Northern Arizona University graduate with nearly 30 years of corporate and higher education experience will join the university as director of Alumni Relations.

Neil Goodell, who currently serves as vice president for Institutional Advancement and executive director of the Foundation at Cochise College in Sierra Vista, will start at NAU in January.

“We are very excited to have Neil joining us,” said Molly Williams, vice president for University Advancement. “His client-centered experience and skills are what we were looking for, and his excellent listening skills, team orientation and great sense of humor are bonuses for all who will have the pleasure of working with him.”

Goodell earned a bachelor’s in journalism/public relations from NAU in 1976 and a master’s degree in educational leadership in 1996.

“His experiences as both an undergraduate on the Flagstaff campus and a graduate student in the Distance Learning program give him good insights into NAU’s traditional alumni base and its growing non-traditional, distance education alumni market,” Williams said.

Prior to Cochise College, Goodell held several positions at Yavapai College in Prescott, including Master Plan Design project manager, associate to the president for Special Projects and Development and Grants officer. Goodell also worked for Centel Corp., first as a public relations manager in the late 1970s and early 1980s and later as regional public relations Manager-Nevada/Texas Division in the late 1980s. In between his two stints with Centel, he served as Program and Communications manager with the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.

“I am very pleased and proud to be returning to NAU and Flagstaff,” Goodell said. “The university provided an excellent foundation that has allowed me to attain many career goals, and I have always held the institution in the highest regard.”

Goodell has been active professionally and in his local community. He has served on the boards of Highlands Center for Natural History, Yavapai Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Volunteer Center of Yavapai County. He is a charter member of Association of Fundraising Professionals-Northern Arizona Chapter and was recognized by that group as the Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year in 1998.

Goodell replaces Josh Allen, who left NAU in the spring to accept a position with the Brecon Group, a consulting firm that works with non-profits and foundations.