Winona State University announces interim leadership in the Office of University Advancement and the WSU Foundation.

Andrea Northam will serve as interim vice president for University Advancement, and Foundation Trustee Robert Strauss will work with WSU as a consultant, helping to guide the WSU Foundation.

“This tandem leadership model will continue the great momentum and leadership we have across the Advancement team and our current Foundation Board,” WSU President Scott R. Olson said. “Ms. Northam’s knowledge and experience in higher education combined with Mr. Strauss’s years of service on the Foundation board will provide continuity during this period of transition.”

Andrea Northam


Robert Strauss


Northam joined the Office of University Advancement in 2006 and most recently served as senior director of communications, marketing and media relations. She earned her master’s degree in leadership education from WSU, and holds bachelor’s degrees in English language and literature and Spanish language and literature from Truman State University.

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“The majority of my role at WSU has centered around storytelling and sharing what makes Winona State special with audiences in and around the institution,” Northam said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue telling that story, and to explore and expand the connections I get to make with our WSU alumni and alumnae, trustees and benefactors, community partners and friends of the university, and our own faculty, staff and students.”

Strauss earned his degree in business administration from WSU and joined the Fastenal Company as its fourteenth employee. He was the first sales manager for Fastenal and progressed to vice president of business development for the Fortune 500 Company before retiring in 2017.

A longtime supporter of the university, Strauss joined the WSU Foundation Board of Trustees in 1994. During his time on the board, he has chaired both the finance and special projects committees, and he is chair-elect for the WSU Foundation. He also serves on the College of Business Dean’s Community Leadership Advisory Board and the COB Sales Center Advisory Board.

“I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to continue the growth we have established in the past 25 years,” Strauss said. “I’ve always felt there’s a unique sense of family at WSU, and I encourage all our alumni to get involved and see the impact they can make.”

A search for a permanent Vice President for University Advancement is scheduled to launch later this fall.

For more information, call the University Communications Office at 507-457-5024.


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