Colleen Newquist, a senior associate of Peterson Rudgers Group, is a leader in creative strategy, development and execution, and an expert in building and nurturing successful creative teams. Over a 25-year career at the University of Chicago, Newquist restructured and led creative teams in the business school, university communications, and alumni relations and development, contributing to record-breaking increases in MBA and undergraduate applications and the business school’s first No. 1 U.S. News ranking, and launching the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. As a consultant, she continues to provide creative leadership, most recently as Vice President for Marketing and Communication at Loyola University Chicago.
As Assistant Vice President of Creative Communications at the University of Chicago, she built UChicago Creative, a 25-person in-house creative agency that regularly competed with and rivaled outside agencies, increasing net revenue from $250,000 to $1.9 million in three years. She wrote the first identity and messaging guide for the University of Chicago, authored its strategic communications plan, and established the voice of the university through undergraduate admissions marketing communications that contributed to a 42 percent increase in applications and top 10 U.S. News rankings.
As Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development communications, she reorganized the 35-person team to better meet the needs of alumni, donors, and the university, and injected fresh creativity into the organization, contributing to substantial increases in alumni engagement and annual giving. She was integral to the launch of the university’s $5 billion campaign, leading the teams responsible for the campaign case statement, video, website, annual publication, and live performances at the launch event.
A consultant since 2016, Newquist has provided creative content and leadership for the Association of American Universities, Furman University, Ohio State University, the University of Chicago, and Loyola University of Chicago, where over 11 months she restructured the marketing and communications team, redesigned the alumni magazine, and led university communications in support of the men’s basketball team’s first NCAA tournament appearance in over 35 years.
Newquist began her career as a lifestyles editor for The Star newspaper chain in suburban Chicago, from 1987 to 1991. A feature writer and columnist, she received national first-place awards every year. A first-generation college graduate, she is an alumna of Governors State University.