At the Center

May 15, 2024

By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS

Olivia Demarco ’02 ’15MBA

Past experiences inform future goals for Olivia Demarco ’02 ’15MBA, Rollins’ new executive director of alumni engagement.

If you were to look for the narrative throughline in Olivia Demarco ’02 ’15MBA’s story, right in the center would be Rollins. As a teenager, her mom would share stories of teaching dance classes in the theatre department, and her dad would rave about the College’s reputation. She earned two degrees at Rollins—a bachelor’s in theatre arts and an MBA from Crummer—forged lifelong friendships, and managed the box office and marketing for the Annie Russell Theatre.

Demarco left Rollins to join the grand-opening team and build guest-service operations at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and went on to hold senior leadership roles in marketing and operations at Orlando Repertory Theatre and Clean the World Foundation. No matter where Demarco went, though, she felt the pull of her alma mater. It’s no surprise then that she returned in 2022 as the associate director of advancement communications and is now moving into a central role for the College as executive director of alumni engagement starting mid-May.

“Olivia’s background as a dual alum, her professional experience, and her deep passion for what we do every day makes her the ideal candidate to guide the strategic planning of this important office and foster engagement among all Rollins alumni,” says Laurie Houck, vice president for institutional advancement.

For Demarco, it’s more than a natural progression for her past to merge with Rollins’ future. It’s a necessity. “Rollins has been part of my life since 1998, for more than half my life,” she says. “I see this role as my way of paying forward all that Rollins has done for me.”

We recently sat down with Demarco to learn more about what makes Rollins center stage in her life and how she plans to invigorate connections between alumni and the College.

Olivia Demarco and fellow alumni at a Rollins in a Box event
Photo by Scott Cook.

What made you return to Rollins? “I missed the culture, the campus, the community, and being part of a collaborative team. Here, there are people you can rely on.”

What appealed to you about this position? “The energy and passion of the team and how powerful our alumni community is. Alumni are integral to the success of the College. Through philanthropy and volunteering, we propel Rollins forward. I want to be part of reconnecting more people to do just that.”

What is your short- and long-term vision for the Office of Alumni Engagement? “My short-term vision is to lift up the team that’s here and ignite the Alumni Advisory Board and the Crummer Alumni Board. Long term, I want to provide alumni with more professional development offerings and connections.”

Why should alums want to get involved? “Rollins was such a formative experience for so many of us, but that experience isn’t guaranteed for new generations unless we help perpetuate it. A college—any college—is only going to be successful if it has people and philanthropy power behind it. If we want what we experienced—the traditions, the learning that made us better, and the connections that have gotten us where we are—for the next generation, we need to continue to shape the future of this special place in a positive way.”

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