By Cody Funderburk, Staff Writer
One of Warren Wilson’s most influential administrators, Richard Blomgren, has announced his intent to retire at the end of the current school year. A California native, Blomgren has worked at Warren Wilson for eighteen years, fulfilling various positions such as Dean, Crew Supervisor, Director of Marketing, and Vice President of Advancement and Admissions. Before working for Warren Wilson, he was Chair of the Theatre Department, Director of Admissions and the School of the Arts at Stephenson College in Missouri. He’s had a very constructive impact in the promotion of Warren Wilson to prospective students, and has been instrumental in expanding the influence of this college.
Richard began working for Warren Wilson College in 1996 as the Dean of Admission, and was responsible for recruiting and admitting students while managing the student work crew of ten, the admission staff, and the two office staff members. In the fall semester of 2004, Blomgren also assumed the responsibility of Director of Marketing, in which he directed three marketing staff teams: web, media, and communications. While working for the college, he traveled internationally to recruit potential students in Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and Japan.
In 2009, Blomgren integrated other responsibilities into his work. He became the Vice President of Advancement, while remaining Dean of Admission and Director of Marketing. During this time, he led the marketing and admission staff and was responsible for alumni, recruitment, advancement, admission, marketing, and communication plans for the college. Of course, outside of working in the office, he helped to promote Warren Wilson to various people and foundations in order to foster the schools image, resources, and connections.
In July of 2013, Blomgren assumed the role of Vice President of Advancement and continued to lead an advancement staff of eleven. Over a fifteen year time span of his engagement with WIlson, he’s seen an enrollment increase of nearly double, from 500 to over 900, as well as nearly a tripled number of applicants. These improvements in enrollment also accompanied a general increase in the academic profile of enrolling students.
After retiring, Blomgren plans to enter the world of consulting in an attempt to help other small colleges grow and expand. With over thirty years of working in education under his belt, Blomgren has a strong background in helping small communities thrive. Warren Wilson is lucky to have been acquainted with such a proactive and helpful community member for so long. Though it is always difficult seeing influential members depart, the legacy and benefits that remain from his administration will abide over the years. Before his departure Blomgren would like to thank the Wilson community for “allowing [him] the pleasure and honor of working here for the past 18 years.”