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Wagner takes the reigns of PCC’s College Advancement
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College has a familiar face leading its College Advancement Department.
Rob Wagner has been appointed associate vice president of College Advancement, overseeing the PCC Foundation, Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and Government Relations offices. Wagner previously served as the college’s government relations director.
“This is such an exciting time at PCC,” Wagner said. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve the college in this position and I’m looking forward to helping launch our strategic plan with significant community engagement.”
Wagner said he wants to build on the momentum established by his predecessor Kristin Watkins, who left for a similar position at the OSU Foundation. Advancement has been integral to the planning and communications around In-Service, the Foundation Gala, Founder’s Week, PCC’s Day at the Capitol, the #ThinkPCCFirst marketing campaign, community engagement and assisting with development of the college-wide strategic planning process. The department also has established legislative interns in Salem where PCC students spend time working with key state senators and representatives. This fall, it is kicking off the new Student Ambassador Program, where a select group of students will tell their stories and welcome visitors at key PCC events.
“We tell the PCC story by communicating the amazing work the college does in building educational opportunities and fostering workforce training across our region,” he said. “PCC is a national model. We have so many inventive and innovative programs here at PCC. We are unparalleled in our commitment to student success and so it’s our job as a department to shine a light on that success and innovation.”
Wagner, who has four kids and is adept at shuttling between piano lessons and sports practices, joined PCC’s College Advancement in 2012. In this role, he led the government relations functions of the college, planning and executing a government affairs strategy that advanced PCC’s mission and goals with local, regional, state, and federal elected officials. Before that, he served as the director of political and legislative affairs for the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon where he developed legislative and political strategies for education employees across Oregon, including the faculty, academic professionals and classified employees of PCC.
Wagner studied Government and American Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., before earning his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Portland State University. In addition, he earned a master’s degree in Public Policy from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.