Cate Liverman: Reunions Director

Cate Liverman
  • Class of: 2008
  • Hometown: Glen Rock, New Jersey
  • Current City: Charlottesville, VA
  • Current Job: Director of Alumni Events at the Alumni Association
  • Bodo’s Order: Breakfast is egg white and muenster, cut in half, and dessert is a plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese
  • Favorite UVA activities: Alpha Chi Omega, drama, and being part of the country’s first student-led opera group, Opera Viva

Tell us about your current life.

I graduated in 2008, and I’m from a UVA family—my parents and one of my older brothers went to UVA. My husband is also a Hoo and we have twin boys that we’re raising to be Hoos too!

Tell us your UVA story.

I’m originally from New Jersey, so one reason I picked UVA was that it was far enough away from home that my parents couldn’t drop by unannounced! I loved Charlottesville from my first visit; it felt like home to me before it ever was. I submitted an early application to the University and had intended to apply to other schools, but once I got that acceptance letter, I picked UVA.

What’s your favorite UVA memory?

At the end of my first semester, I had the last final exam slot late on December 22. I exited Rouss Hall at 10 p.m. to see the Lawn completely empty, lit up and blanketed with snow. It was a breathtaking sight—a gorgeous, peaceful end to a chaotic semester. It felt so special and personal, and I thought to myself, “This is what I signed up for.”

What was your journey after leaving UVA?

After graduation, I did the McIntire Business Institute, then moved on to sell commercials at NBC. While working there, I got coffee with my then-good friend Ryan Liverman and he told me about an opening with the Alumni Association that fit my love of UVA and nonprofit work. I applied for that job working with Reunions and I’ve never looked back.

What makes you say “Wahoowa?”

It’s being part of something much bigger than myself, about a network of learners and thinkers and feelers who really care. There is something truly unique about the UVA student and alumni experience, and I’m so proud of this community.

When you think of “UVA Alumni,” what comes to mind?

UVA alumni just care so much about whatever it is they care about and really do want to give back. The self-governance that our students embody feeds into the alumni culture, and it’s inspiring to work with alumni because they know they can have an impact.

Tell us more about the work you do with the Association and what makes Reunions so special.

Alumni Events is a lot more than just Reunions—it’s ever-evolving and always in response to the needs and ideas of our alumni. Some of my favorite things we do are the affinity events. I get to sit down with the group—whether it’s Glee Club, Greek life or any other organization—and understand what drives them so I can design their event. It keeps my job refreshing and exciting.

Tell us the biggest way in which you hope alumni can help impact UVA.

Continuing to be a part of the community is the most important thing they can do. It’s easy as a student to forget about the alumni experience, but I think that mindset is starting to change at UVA because alumni want to be more involved.

How do you stay connected with UVA and other alumni?

I’m still close to the friends I had in undergrad, and I also enjoy taking part in what UVA has to offer, from bringing our sons to a game to seeing a show at Culbreth. I’m also in a really unique place because my alumni parents will be retiring to Charlottesville soon and I get to help them plug into Charlottesville life—they’re so excited to come here, and I know they’re not alone.