Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College

LRW with Daisies

Office of Institutional Advancement and Initiatives Staff 

The office is home to Alumnae Relations, Philanthropy, and the Center for Career and Professional Development, an on-campus resource designed to help current students, alumnae and employers connect. We are inspired by the traditions and mission of the College, and excited and honored to be a part of her future. 

You can learn more about us below, or contact our office for immediate assistance: 

Phone: (573) 876-7110, Ext. 4110
Fax: (573) 876-7165
Email: [email protected] or [email protected] 


One Team, Committed to You 

Chris Rigby
Director of Philanthropy

[email protected]

As a director of philanthropy, Chris works with alumnae across the country, reconnecting them to Stephens College and engaging them in gift opportunities and other ways to benefit the College. In addition, he assists with the development of corporate relations and closer community ties.

Chris earned a degree in geography from the University of Birmingham, England, and went on to be commissioned as a Royal Navy Officer. His navy career culminated in an appointment as Protocol Officer at NATO’s headquarters in Norway. Thereafter he began a 25-year career in professional recruitment. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1998 and led development of global recruiting programs before becoming U.S. representative for Australia’s largest human resource services company.

Chris joined Stephens in October 2014. Prior to joining Stephens, Chris spent three years assisting the growth of a woman-owned recruiting company in St Louis.

Columbia has been home for Chris and his wife, Wendy, for more than 20 years. He has a daughter, Alison and granddaughter Izzy in England, and two stepchildren, Cory and Delaney (who graduated from Stephens in 2018). In his spare time, Chris is a very active Rotarian, and supports the St Louis Cardinals and the soccer team Newcastle United.


Gwen Robbins
Director of Philanthropy

[email protected]

Gwen Robbins works with Alumnae around the country to connect them with Stephens College and works with them on their philanthropic priorities. 

Gwen has worked for many non-profits all over the U.S. and has participated in several multi-million dollar capital campaigns. She has been a professional fundraiser for many years. Previously, Gwen spent five years as Director of Advancement in the College of Education at the University of Missouri.  She began her role at Stephens as Director of Philanthropy in January 2016.

Gwen was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana. She earned a BA degree in communications from the University of Washington in Seattle. Growing up in Montana, she developed a love for the outdoors and all sports. In her free time, she also enjoys reading, entertaining and travel. She and her husband Steve live in Columbia, with their two children, Sarah, 17, and Gabe 14, as well as a golden retriever and a cat.


Kalei Holder
Director of Annual Giving

[email protected]

As the director of annual giving, Kalei uses a variety of channels to engage with alumnae and individuals to increase support for the Stephens Fund. Kalei has been part of the Stephens College Advancement team since May of 2016. Prior to coming to Stephens Kalei spent four years working in the non-profit sector. She earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Missouri with emphases in psychology,  sociology and social policy. 

Kalei and her husband Mike live in Columbia with their son, Colin, and their three pooches, Donovan, Josee and Frankie. In her free time, Kalei enjoys going to concerts and being with family and friends.


Amy Langen
Director of Advancement Services

[email protected]

As Director of Advancement Services, Amy is responsible for data management, gift acceptance and reporting. 

Before coming to Stephens in 2015, Amy worked at the Columbia Public Library for 15 years, where she had many different roles, including the one she cherished most of all: acting as her family’s personal bookmobile.

Amy earned a degree in English from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and a Masters degree in Adult Education from National-Louis University in Chicago. For many years she has happily called Columbia home, where she and her husband Tim have raised three wonderful children.


Ellen Morris 
Manager, Internships and Career Events
Center for Career and Professional Development

[email protected] 

As Manager of Internships and Career Events, Ellen works with students seeking and completing internships in all programs of study, in addition to connecting with employers and alumnae who hire interns at their organization. Ellen enjoys creating on-campus events that engage students and allow them to learn new skills while networking with employers and members of the Columbia community.

Originally from Chicago, Ellen earned a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Missouri and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Affairs from the Truman School of Public Affairs. 

Ellen enjoys living in Columbia with her daughter. On the weekends, you can find them exploring the trail system on bike or foot, attending Stephens or Mizzou athletic events and eating ice cream at Sparky’s downtown.




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