President and Executive Director
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Melinda Burke ’75 ’81 leads the Alumni Association in engaging and connecting alumni to the University of Arizona and celebrates a strong community of alumni and friends.
As executive director, Burke collaborates with UA colleges and campus partners to align the Alumni Association and university’s mission of serving UA graduates and connecting constituents through communications, career networking, and alumni outreach. As a liaison to the association’s board of directors — composed of a diverse group of alumni volunteers from around the country — she listens carefully to alumni needs and serves to strengthen alumni networks regionally and nationally.
A dedicated alumna and former UA professor, Burke’s UA student and alumni connections are far reaching. She enjoys meeting alumni, making vital connections, and embodying the Wildcat spirit intrinsic to the UA experience as a Wildcat for Life.
Previously, Burke served as the director of the UA Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, where she was a Petsmart Professor of Practice and built corporate partnerships with industry leaders to expand the educational opportunities for retail students. Burke also launched an award-winning program for students in free enterprise and organized the global retailing conference hosted by Terry J. Lundgren in Tucson, Ariz. In 2010, she established the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing Endowment for Excellence with a $1.3 million gift from the retailing and fashion industries to support students in the Retailing and Consumer Sciences major.
Burke earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, majoring in textiles and clothing, and a master’s of science degree from the UA graduate college.
She is the recipient of several awards, including the 2010 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Award for Outstanding Effort in Development and a 2008 Professional Achievement Award from the Alumni Association.
A native Arizonan, Burke is married with three children. Her husband Bruce Burke ’71 ’75 is a Tucson lawyer and graduate from the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the James E. Rogers College of Law. She has three adult daughters, one of whom is a proud alumna of the UA College of Medicine.