Maureen Palchak named director of recreation by athletic department


Source: Northwestern Athletics

Maureen Palchak at a Northwestern football game. Palchak was named director of recreation for the athletic department on Monday.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Summer Managing Editor

Following the retirement of Dan Bulfin, Northwestern Athletics has named Maureen Palchak as director of recreation, Athletic Director Jim Phillips announced Monday.

To replace Bulfin, who had worked at Northwestern for 41 years, NU turned to Palchak, who had previously been in charge of community relations for the athletic department.

“Maureen Palchak has been at the center of one of our core missions as we have emphasized service and social growth, and I’m elated for her to take on this new opportunity,” Phillips said in a Monday release. “At the end of a comprehensive, national search, it was clear Maureen’s relationships within our department, across campus, and throughout Evanston make her an ideal fit for this essential role.”

In her previous role, Palchak ensured all of NU’s student-athletes participated in service projects throughout Evanston and Chicago. She also was one of the primary liaisons between the athletic department and the city of Evanston.

Palchak’s first position with NU came in the ticket office, where she managed customer service for ticket sales. She has been working in community relations for the athletic department since 2011.

Prior to joining the athletic department, Palchak set five program records while swimming at Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. She went on to earn a master’s degree in sports administration from NU.

Palchak is also not the only member of her family to enjoy a long career with Northwestern Athletics. Her husband, Doug Meffley (Medill ‘04, ‘16) worked in athletic communications from the time he was an undergraduate student until accepting a job with Honor Flight Chicago in November 2018.

“Northwestern has been my home for more than a decade, and I’m thrilled to take on this new responsibility,” Palchak said in the release. “Recreation plays a critical role both supporting students and as a first-point-of-contact between the University and people of all ages from the surrounding community. I can’t wait to continue to foster that extraordinary relationship.”

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