Kate Brennan Gaertner, executive director of Alpha Sigma Nu, has announced that she will retire from her position in April 2022. She has served as executive director of the Marquette-based honor society since June 2004. She began at ΑΣΝ as alumni director in September 2002.
“I will always look at my time as executive director with enormous gratitude,” Gaertner said. “What a privilege it has been to pursue the ΑΣΝ mission alongside committed AΣN staff, passionate student leaders, generous advisers, inspiring Ignatian colleagues and Jesuits who live the call to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.”
Gaertner has led the honor society of Jesuit universities at a significant period in Jesuit higher education. As Jesuit universities more clearly focused and strategized on mission, Gaertner guided AΣN in supporting those efforts, promoting the mission and values of Alpha Sigma Nu and Jesuit higher education to members. In her time at AΣN, the Jesuit honor society has moved from simply honoring students to become a dynamic Ignatian partner, encouraging members to be collaborators with the Society of Jesus. Seeing the AΣN tenet of Loyalty as AΣN’s distinctive characteristic, Gaertner fostered connections with Jesuit communities, Ignatian partners and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, while promoting Jesuit Curia’s priorities to members and chapters.
A key priority for Gaertner has been articulating the meaning of Alpha Sigma Nu membership to inductees, chapter leaders and member universities. She provided Ignatian leadership training to students, expanding offerings to chapter advisers, building community among student leaders, and visiting all 27 Jesuit universities in the U.S., Sogang University in South Korea, Universidad Loyola Andalucia and Regis College Toronto.
Gaertner increased Alpha Sigma Nu’s international presence, adding chapters at Universidad Loyola Andalucía and Universidad del Pacífico. She represented AΣN to the International Association of Jesuit Universities, the Jesuit Networking Project and the Jesuit Friends and Alumni Network.
Gaertner has also been active in the honor society community, representing AΣN in the Association of College Honor Societies. She served on its board of directors and as chair of its nominating committee.
The Alpha Sigma Nu Executive Director job posting can be found here.