PHILADELPHIA – After nearly a quarter-century on the University of Pennsylvania campus -- four as a student and women's lacrosse player, the rest as an employee in the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) including the last four as Deputy Director of Athletics -- Alanna Shanahan C'96 has been named the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Johns Hopkins University. She becomes just the fourth person to hold this position at Johns Hopkins since 1950 and succeeds Tom Calder, who has served in the position since 1995.
Located within Baltimore’s city limits, Johns Hopkins is an NCAA Division 3 school in 22 of its 24 sports, competing in the Centennial Conference. The men’s and women’s lacrosse programs compete at the NCAA Division 1 level, both as members of the Big Ten Conference. The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program is one of the traditional national powers, boasting nine NCAA Division 1 championships.
Shanahan has been Penn’s Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman’s Administrator (SWA) since 2012 and has also served as the Executive Director of the world-renowned Penn Relays since 2011. She has been a member of Penn’s senior administrative team in the University’s Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) since 1999, progressively gaining increased responsibility during her tenure.
As the Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Women’s Administrator (SWA) at Penn, Shanahan has managed a highly-successful 33-sport intercollegiate athletics program with direct oversight of five of Penn’s athletic programs (football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse). In addition, she managed four senior-level athletic administrators who directed the Quakers’ 28 other varsity teams.
Shanahan has extensive experience in all facets of athletic administration, including budgeting, recruiting, compliance, academic services, admissions and financial aid, facilities and operations, development, alumni relations, marketing and communications.
“Penn and DRIA have been an integral part of my life since the fall of my freshman year in 1992,” said Shanahan. “Both have challenged, nurtured and engaged me for over two decades. The people I met -- whether on the lacrosse field, in the classroom or in DRIA -- and the experiences we shared are some of my most memorable. World-class institutions such as Penn are renowned for many things, but in my experience it’s the people at Penn who set it apart -- truly exceptional people. I wish my colleagues in DRIA and across the University as well as our alumni all the best as they continue to produce and support the world’s best and brightest. Penn will always hold a special place in my heart.”
“Johns Hopkins has hired a first-class athletics administrator in Alanna Shanahan,” said Dr. M. Grace Calhoun,Penn’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation. “She is one of the very best and most talented colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure to work. Alanna’s dedication and service to Penn have been truly extraordinary and she will be sorely missed. That said, I am elated for Alanna and the Johns Hopkins Athletic Department.”
Shanahan played a key role in Penn’s recently completed “Making History” campaign that raised $124 million for athletics and recreation. In addition to her athletics-related responsibilities, Shanahan was also a member of the University’s Administrative and Governance Review Working Group and the Student Experiences and Perceptions Working Group and was also appointed to the University’s Title IX Compliance Committee.
“Alanna clearly has the passion, energy and vision needed to direct Hopkins athletics,” said Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. “Her experience at Penn working with an outstanding university and its motivated, high-achieving student-athletes will serve her extremely well as the leader of the Johns Hopkins Department of Athletics and Recreation. She arrives during the most successful era in Hopkins athletics history, and we look forward to watching our student-athletes continue to flourish academically and athletically under her direction.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Alanna to Johns Hopkins to lead our vibrant and successful athletics and recreation program,” said Kevin Shollenberger, the University’s Vice Provost for Student Affairs with direct oversight of athletics and recreation. “I look forward to working with her as a member of the Homewood Student Affairs administrative team. Her insights and leadership will contribute to enhancing the overall experience of our student-athletes and members of the campus community.”
A 1996 Penn graduate with a degree in anthropology, Shanahan played lacrosse for the Quakers and served as a team captain as a senior, when she was also selected as the team’s most valuable player. She later served as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at her alma mater from 1997-99 and as the interim head coach during the 1999 season. Today, Shanahan is a member of the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship Committee.
Shanahan also holds a Master of Science degree from Penn in education (Higher Education Administration Division) and a doctoral degree from the University’s Graduate School of Education (Higher Education Management Division).