Thousands of new Tigers experience the impact of David Rielley’s work, and most of them will never know who he is. As the senior coordinator of New Student Programs at MU, Rielley is the person behind the yearly Summer and Winter Welcome programs.
David, or DR as many know him, has been with the university for more than 14 years. He remembers traveling to MU in a yellow Rider truck just days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Rielley started working in New Student Programs and eventually took over the job of creating Summer Welcome. During his time at the University, he also developed Winter Welcome and August Orientation for students who transfer at semester and those unable to come during the summer.
Working with 38 students each year, 36 as welcome leaders and two as student coordinators, most of his time is spent working on New Student Programs.
“There is a lot of detail work,” Rielley said.
Rielley did not always know what he wanted to do with his career. He finished his undergraduate studies at Saint Louis University with a degree in political sciences. He was very active in extracurricular activities in high school, and said he felt like he knew everybody.
When he started college all that changed. No time was spent in clubs or extracurricular activities. He would go from home to school and straight back home.
“I watched a lot of BlockBuster at that time,” Rielley said.
It was not until the end of his sophomore year at SLU that he started to become more active. It was then he met an adviser who would inspire him to get a Master’s degree in education and student personnel services. The contacts he made at SLU are still important in his life he said, not only professionally but personally as well.
Gabriel Riekhof, a 2013 Summer Welcome leader, said that while DR may come off as “all business,” he is a father figure to many people.
Darren Green, an upcoming Summer Welcome coordinator, has worked with Rielley for a while. Green said that one of the first things he noticed about Rielley was his work ethic.
“He is constantly busy throughout the day,” Green said.
While he keeps a hectic pace with day-to-day obligations, Rielley is known for always having time for anyone requesting his help. Even on his busiest days he is willing to give advice or lend a helping hand with.
Rielley said his main goal is to get the message out to students about how important getting involved on campus is to the learning experience.