WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster has selected Melissa Anderson to the newly-named role of chief communications and marketing officer (CCMO), effective Aug. 27. She succeeds John Hopkins, who retired following a 17-year run as associate vice president for college relations and marketing, in leading Wooster’s college relations team and serving as a member of the president’s cabinet.
“I am delighted that Melissa will join us at Wooster to lead this crucial work,” stated Sarah Bolton, president of Wooster. “Her deep experience at Ripon College and the University of Wisconsin has prepared her excellently to share Wooster’s most important stories with the world in compelling and timely ways.”
As CCMO, Anderson will provide oversight for all aspects of the College’s communications efforts, including branding, marketing, and advertising; public and media relations; publications and creative services; sports information; digital and social media strategies and web content and design. A particular focus of this role will be working alongside the offices of enrollment and advancement on strategies to reach and engage key external audiences.
“Wooster is an incredibly special place with a compelling brand promise and no shortage of impact stories to share with the world,” said Anderson. “I am beyond thrilled at the opportunity to join this remarkable community and look forward to collaborating with faculty, staff, and students, alumni, and more to define, celebrate, and promote all the distinctive qualities that make Wooster such an inspiring place to learn and grow.”
Anderson joins Wooster with a combined 16 years of private and public sector marketing and communications management experience, including nearly 12 years in executive roles at both a small private liberal arts college and a large public flagship university.
As vice president of marketing and communications for Ripon, she oversaw the marketing and communications and information technology offices as well as a new online and brick and mortar mercantile. She transformed marketing operations from a primary focus on traditional print to an integrated marketing and communications approach that fused brand strategy and development with best practice strategic communications, robust multi-channel content planning, and a hyper-focused digital media presence. Her efforts resulted in exponential growth in web traffic, social media followership and engagement, and online donations.
Anderson initially joined Ripon’s staff in November 2012 as its first executive director of marketing and communications, and moved into the newly-created vice president role in 2016, after serving as interim vice president for advancement and leading a successful campaign for the recently opened $23.5 million Willmore Center for athletics, health, and wellness.
Previously, Anderson served in a variety of roles, including as director of integrated marketing communications for the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she led media relations and rebranding efforts. She created the school’s first web and new media team and ultimately merged it with the existing print and marketing shop to form one unit.
Anderson was recognized with Ripon’s Faculty/Staff Mentor Award in 2016 and the Presidential Staff Award in 2015, and UW-Madison’s Outstanding Staff Achievement Award in 2012.
A native of Wisconsin, Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from Ripon and a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago.