Meet Shelby Rufkahr: Westminster’s New Director of Alumni Engagement

If you attended Alumni Weekend on April 12-13, 2024, you might have noticed Shelby Rufkahr, Director of Alumni Engagement, outpacing everyone at each event, schedule in hand. Whether she was behind the microphone or behind the scenes, Rufkahr demonstrated her ability to run a fast-paced, complex event the Westminster Way ― with grace and close attention to detail. Read further to learn about Rufkahr, who officially began her role with the College on Feb. 26, 2024.

Where are you from originally, and where do you live now?

I grew up on a hobby cattle farm in New Haven, Missouri. I currently live in Columbia, Missouri, with my husband and daughter.

Where did you go to college?

I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design and product development from Stephens College in Columbia.

Where did you work prior to Westminster?

Prior to working at Westminster, I was the retail director for a local music festival. In that role, I collaborated with different community partners and vendors. Before that, I worked in the apparel industry, specifically in collegiate sportswear for Gear for Sports, a Hanesbrands company. As a quality assurance analyst, I worked closely with sourcing partners and factories from all around the world.

What did you think of Westminster’s recent Alumni Weekend? How did it turn out?

Alumni Weekend was such a great learning experience! The energy on campus was vibrant, and everyone was willing to lend a helping hand. The weekend was a great success. I have received valuable feedback and suggestions for next year’s event.

So far, what do you like most about Westminster College?

As someone who has worked in a corporate setting, I find it refreshing that despite its global reach, Westminster feels like a close-knit community. It’s heartening to know that I am part of a vast network of like-minded individuals who share a common goal. It is both humbling and gratifying to know that my work has the potential to benefit so many.

Please tell a little bit about your family.

My husband, Adam, works in the tech industry as a software engineer. We share a daughter, Mara. She’s 2 and obsessed with Mickey Mouse.

What are your hobbies and interests?

In my free time, I enjoy thrifting, baking, watching movies and going to live music events.

What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday?

Saturdays are for sleeping in and being in the sunshine.

What is something about you most people don’t know?

I can recite from memory the first 12 lines of the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales in Middle English, thanks to my 12th-grade English teacher.

To contact Rufkahr, please call 573-592-5570 or email

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.