An Invitation to Apply for the Position of
Vice President for College Advancement of
Washington College is a unique,high quality liberal arts institution that was founded in 1782 under the
patronage of George Washington. While the College holds a significant place in the history of American
higher education—it was the first college of the new nation--its present is equally impressive. In this small
school located on Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore, students receive a highly personalized, challenging
education from first-rate professors who are committed to their students’ learning and achievement.
Washington College is best known for instruction in writing; experientially-based environmental
education centered on the Chesapeake Bay; and programs that build on the College’s historical heritage.
These are just a few of the College’s many strengths that last year enabled it to leapfrog 19 points in the
Us News and World Report rankings.
In July, Mitchell Reiss, a dynamic educator, diplomat, lawyer, policy-maker and international peace
negotiator, became the College’s 27 president. Reiss, who directed the Office of Policy Planning at the
U.S. State Department under Secretary Colin L. Powell, also served concurrently as the President's Special
Envoy for the Northern Ireland Peace Process with the rank of Ambassador. After Powell, Secretary
Condoleezza Rice asked Reiss to continue in this position, which he did for another two years, during
which Northern Ireland registered historic progress towards ending "the Troubles" and realizing the full
promise of the Good Friday Agreement. For his efforts, Reiss received the State Department's Foreign
Affairs Award for Public Service.
Educated at Williams College, Columbia Law School, Oxford Universityand the Fletcher School of Law &
Diplomacy at Tufts University, Reiss is well acquainted with high performing fundraising organizations.
Personally, he brings ambition, creativity, excitement and drive to his presidency in general and to the
task of fundraising in particular. He will make an eager and outstanding partner to Washington College’s
next Vice President for College Advancement.
While his talents are formidable, Reiss is just one of the factors that will contribute to the success of
advancement at Washington College. With two successful campaigns under its belt and an increasingly
engaged alumni body that is energized about the potential the new president brings, the College is being
led by alumni with expertise and financial capacity. These individuals are taking ownership of the
institution and are in a strong position to help develop a vision and the philanthropic support for its
future.Finally, the College enjoys the backing of wealthy neighbors and friends who value its existence in
their midst. The College has excellent philanthropic prospects and is ready to launch another successful
campaign within the next few years.
This vice presidency offers an excellent opportunity for the right advancement professional to achieve
dramatic success. With about 20 staff, the program is of a manageable size and scale. Its constituents are
ripe for a next campaign. Its administrators and faculty are eager to pitch in. Itsleadership is ready to
match realistic ambitions for its future with the resources necessary to bring them to fruition. The time to
build a successful fundraising and alumni relations program at Washington College is now.
History and Program
Washington College is set in Chestertown, Maryland, on the scenic Chester River, between the Atlantic
Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, just 75 miles from Washington, D.C. An intellectual and cultural hub, the
College educates confident citizens and leaders capable of advancing the democratic and civic traditions
of our Founding Fathers.
With a student body of just 1350 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1, Washington College provides
students with a truly personalized education. Three attributes particularly shape the Washington College
experience: a history closely connected to the founding of our nation, its setting within an
environmentally sensitive region, and its reputation as a place that fosters good writing. Three co-
curricular centers amplify these attributes and provide venues for programs that cut across disciplines,
bringing speakers and visiting scholars to campus and mounting programs that engage the academic
community with the region. They are designed to open the campus to the world and bring the world to
The C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.Exploring our nation’s rich history in
innovative ways, the Starr Center draws scholars and citizens, college students and national leaders to a
unique 18th-century town on the Chester River. The guiding principle of the Center is that a wider
understanding of our shared past is fundamental to the continuing success of America’s democratic
The Center is interdisciplinary, encouraging the study of traditional history alongside new approaches, and
seeking to bridge the divide between the academic world and the public at large. It does this especially by
supporting and fostering the art of written history, through the George Washington Book Prize, resident
fellowships, and other programs. At $50,000, this prize is one of the most generous in the United States,
with a monetary award greater than the Pulitzer Prize for History ($10,000) and the National Book Award
($10,000). Recent recipients of the price have included Ron Chernow for Alexander Hamilton; Stacy Schiff
for A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America; and, Annette Gordon-Reed for The
Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. The Prize is announced each May on the lawn of Mount
Vernon. The following September, the author appears at Washington College to deliver a public lecture
and to meet with students in seminar settings. The Center’s staff and visiting fellows publish frequently on
American history in major publications including The New York Times, theWashington Post, National
Geographic andSmithsonian Magazine.
The Starr Center has been established and sustained with the support of the Starr Foundation, The
Hodson Trust, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with project grants from the U.S.
Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, and with the contributions of many individual
donors and friends.
The Center for Environment & Society (CES). Established in 1999, the CES promotes interdisciplinary
learning, research, and stewardship of natural and cultural resources and supports the integration of
ecological and social values. Under the leadership of marine archaeologist John Seidel, the CES offers a
number of opportunities for students to connect their research with the people and problems of the
region, recognizing that local methods and solutions may have wider national or international application.
The College is a signatory to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, and the
campus climate initiative is managed by CES. CES has prepared and maintains a College greenhouse gas
emissions inventory, manages campus-wide recycling, and encourages energy savings and sustainability
programs such as George Goes Green. CES partners with municipalities in similar efforts and students are
fully engaged in CES activities through internships, fellowships and work study.
Last fall, CES introduced the “Chesapeake Semester,” which engages a select group of students in the
interdisciplinary study of North America’s largest estuary. Students study the history, ecology, and culture
of the Chesapeake Bay as a microcosm of the challenges and transitions confronting coastal communities
around the world. Using the College and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels as base
camps, students travel in, on and around the 64,000 square mile watershed. This “signature semester”
combines intensive study, fieldwork, and outdoor adventure. Students band songbirds at sunrise, muck
through the marsh, kayak on the river, research aquatic organisms, hike in the mountains and sleep
beneath the stars, all in the same week.
The Rose O’Neill Literary House. Recently refurbished, the Rose O’Neill Literary House—an updated
Victorian-- is a comfortable, sociable place that appeals particularly to students within the creative writing
program, English and drama majors, performance artists and aficionados of the literary and book arts. The
College’s writing community calls this place home. On any given afternoon, students gather with friends
for a faculty talk, a presentation on digital poetry, a student reading, a creative writing workshop, or a
reception honoring a visiting writer. This is where poems and stories are shared, where literature is
discussed, where poetry is letter-set and printed by hand, where the Washington College Review debuts,
where festivals are devoted to humor and satire.
The creative writing culture so much in evidence here is grounded in the College’s long-standing
commitment to foster good writing across all disciplines, and to connect its students and faculty to the
wider culture of literature and the creative arts. In collaboration with the English Department and the
Sophie Kerr Committee, which oversees the Sophie Kerr Prize (the country’s largest undergraduate award
for literature), the Literary House has hosted a succession of the best writers in America.
Washington College’s teaching staff includes 95 full-time faculty (96% hold the terminal degree, 61% are
male, and 10.5% are minority). Eighty-four (or 88%) of all full-time faculty are tenured or are on tenure
track. Of these, 62% currently hold tenure. In almost all cases, the College has been fortunate to recruit its
first choice candidates. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 and an average class size of 17, (86% of all
classes are taught by full-time faculty) students are able to develop mentoring relationships with their
professors that extend beyond the classroom to independent study, research, and internship
Faculty members are active scholars throughout their careers at Washington College. Many publish each
year (follow this link for a listing of recent publications:
http://academics.washcoll.edu/pdf/facultybooks.pdf). Others travel to international conferences to
deliver papers or to referee panel discussions. A list of recent faculty achievements can be found at:
The Student Body
Washington College’s student enrollment program is robust. Within the past five years, applications have
doubled from 2,224 in 2005 to 4,491 in 2009 and senior inquiries have increased by almost 50% from
15,000 in 2005 to 22,000 in 2009. During this period of time selectivity has ranged from 60% - 70%,
diversity has increased from 5% to 9%, and the academic profile has remained stable (1135 average SAT,
3.45 average secondary school GPA, 70% rank in top quartile). More than forty percent of all students go
on to further education within five years of graduating from Washington College.
The College has a strong regional base: 46% of students are from Maryland, 14% are from Pennsylvania,
11% are from New Jersey, 5% are from New York, 4% are from Delaware, and 30% are from other states
or countries. Twelve percent of the 2009 entering class qualified for the new Presidential Fellows
Program; these students had average SAT scores of 1270 and an average HSGPA of 4.15. The financial aid
discount rate for new students averaged 42% from 2000 to 2004 and 32% from 2005 to 2008. For both
competitive and economic reasons, the rate was increased to 38% for 2009.
Washington College has a strong athletic tradition and provides a first-class athletic experience for its
students at both varsity and non-varsity levels of competition. It is a founding member of the Centennial
Conference, one of the premier conferences for NCAA Division III athletics. Conference membership
includes some of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges (Johns Hopkins University; Bryn Mawr, Dickinson,
Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, McDaniel, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, and Ursinus colleges),
all of which are committed to excellence in academics and athletics.
In recent years, the men’s tennis and men’s lacrosse teams have captured NCAA national titles. Last
spring both the women’s varsity eight in rowing and the co-ed sailing team competed in the national
championships. For more information on Washington College athletics, please visit
Leadership and Governance
Mitchell Reiss, 53, became Washington College's 27th president in July 2010. Reissis a leading expert on
American foreign policy and is internationally recognized for his negotiating skills during both the
Northern Ireland peace process and the North Korean nuclear crisis.
Prior to assuming the presidency of Washington College, Reiss was Diplomat-in-Residence at the College
of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He held a number of leadership positions there, including
Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dean and Director of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for
International Studies; he also held appointments in the School of Law and the Government Department.
As noted above, from 2003-2007 he held senior policy and diplomatic positions in the U.S. State
Prior to his State Department experiences, in 1999 Reiss helped manage the start-up and operations of
the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), a multinational organization designed to
deliver $6 billion of energy (500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil/year and two 1,000 MW nuclear power
stations) to North Korea. He led KEDO's negotiations with the North Koreans and served as its first
Reiss was a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.,
where he started its nonproliferation and counterproliferation programs. He practiced corporate and
banking law at Covington & Burling and served as Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor as a
White House Fellow in 1988-89. He was a Consultant to the Office of the Legal Advisor at the State
Department, the General Counsel's Office at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the Los
Alamos and Livermore National Laboratory.
Although new to Washington College, Reiss and his wife Elisabeth have fully embraced the College and its
community. Already able to generate infectious excitement about its future, it is easy to envision him as
the College’s Principal Gifts Officer in Chief. As a person, Reiss is keenly intelligent, extroverted, energetic,
accessible and, as his background suggests, skilled in the art of building consensus around a vision. He
possesses a winning sense of humor. As a manager of his senior staff, Reiss delegates broadly,
empowering his direct reports to manage their departments. He expressed this recently saying, “I want
the Vice Presidents at Washington College to function as CEOs of their respective functional areas.” He
will expect no less of the new Vice President for College Advancement.
The 36-member governing body of the College is known as the Board of Visitors and Governors (BVG),
twelve of whom are appointed by the Governor of the State of Maryland, twelve of whom are elected by
the Alumni of Washington College and twelve of whom are elected by the Board of Visitors and
Governors. Currently, 17 of the BVG members are graduates of Washington College. The President serves
as an ex-officio member with voting privileges and as an ex-officio member of all Board committees.
The President’s Leadership Council (PLC) is composed of prominent, interested volunteer leaders who
wish to become knowledgeable advocates for the institution. Members assist the President of the College
with advice, counsel, and customized assistance; together they have contributed 10% of The Washington
Fund’s total in each of the last three years as well as provided major gifts for specific projects, hosted
events, and opened doors to help recruit their own successors.
The17-member Alumni Boardis the governing body of the Alumni Association. Its members serve three-
year terms and meet four times a year. An Executive Committee includes the Chair, Chair-Elect and
Secretary. The remaining members of the Board chair the Association’s standing committees that include
Admissions & Student Recruitment, Classes & Reunions, Regional Chapters and Marketing &
Communications, among others.
The ten-member Senior Staff has a combined 135 years of service at the College. In addition to the Vice
President for College Advancement it includes the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration;
Vice President for College Relations and Communications; Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment
Management; Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs; Provost and Dean of the College; Director of
Human Resources; Associate Vice President and Athletics Director; Chief Information Officer; and, College
Librarian. It is a seasoned, collaborative and collegial group of experienced administrators.
In FY11, revenues and expenses were $52.8 million with an average per student net revenue of $38,290,
based on a comprehensive fee (tuition, room and board) of $45,034. The College’s endowment market
value as of Sept. 30, 2010 was $161 million. The College’s long-term debt outstanding is $64.5 million,
with annual debt service amounting to $4.6 million.
History of Advancement
Private fundraising commenced in earnest at Washington College in the early 1980’s although the College
has had private benefactors throughout its history. In the past 30 years it has completed two
comprehensive campaigns. The first was a seven-year effort that closed in 1990 at $43 million. The
second, which closed in 2003, also lasted seven years and raised $103.4 million, exceeding its original $72
million goal by more than $31 million. In both campaigns, the College secured some very large gifts,
primarily from trustees, non-alumni friends and foundations. While both represent impressive
achievements for an institution as modest in size as Washington College, neither one spawned the
creation of the kind of alumni-focused advancement program that exists at many of Washington College’s
peer institutions. Only 16.4% of the last campaign total represented gifts from alumni.
In the case of the first campaign, this outcome reflects historical realities. Prior to 1990, the College’s
enrollment stood at 750; its alumni numbered 4500. Many of these graduates were school teachers,
social workers and others in the “helping professions.” Few were corporate CEO’s with the resources to
support the College on a major donor level. This left the leadership with few options other than to
cultivate major donors from non-alumni friends and community members in order to meet the campaign
goal. A prime example of this strategy was the successful engagement of Al Decker, CEO of the tool
manufacturer Black & Decker, who possessed no formal connection to Washington College other than
that he owned a farm on the Eastern Shore and was personally dedicated to advancing the cause of
higher education. A small number of wealthy alumni gave generously, among them one female graduate
and wife of a successful real estate developer, who gave $14 million towards the $43 million total.
At least in part, this pre-1990 history explains the decision by the Board of Visitors and Governors to boost
the College’s enrollment , which today is double what it was then. Indeed, 60% of currently addressable
alumni graduated from Washington College in the last 20 years. And while this means that a majority of
the school’s alumni have not yet reached peak earning—and peak giving—years, the expanded student
and alumni (and parent) bodies are more diverse, more competitive and much more likely to accumulate
wealth than their predecessors. Indeed, some have already done so and the College has done a good job
of engaging them philanthropically and in the leadership of the institution in recent years.
The primary task facing the next Vice President for College Advancement is to create a coherent
advancement program, one that brings together and strengthens disparate—and in some cases,
underperforming—efforts. The College needs to inculcate habits of giving among current students and all
alumni and build the solid foundations of alumni giving programs at all levels.
The good news is that the ingredients necessary to build such an advancement program exist at
Washington College today. These include the following:
An intensely loyal alumni body;
Dynamic leadership in the person of President Reiss and members of the BVG;
A strong cohort of other senior administrators who compose the President’s Senior Staff. Of
particular importance to the task of building institutional advancement is a talented and effective
Vice President for Marketing and Communications who is committed to partnering with the new
Vice President for College Advancement and whose work has garnered multiple national awards;
A team of development and alumni relations professionals who work hard and care deeply about
their mission and about the College; and,
An institutional understanding that it costs money to build strong advancement programs and a
commitment to devote the necessary resources to the task.
Washington College is very well positioned with its external constituents. A survey of its 9,000
“solicitable” alumni conducted in 2006 confirmed what had long been known: that the College is beloved
by its graduates. A whopping 98 percent of alumni reported that they were satisfied with their overall
experience at Washington College, including 75 percent who were very satisfied; 92 percent of whom
took pride in their degree, including 63 percent who took a great deal of pride in it. Washington College
alumni are attached to the institution in both intellectual and emotional ways. For some it is about
“remembering the good old days on campus” and for others about appreciating the contribution
Washington College made to their personal development. And while their high level of appreciation and
love for the College has not generally translated into gifts, for the most part this is because they simply
have not been educated about the importance of private philanthropy in ensuring the College’s future:
they have not been asked to give consistently and in ways that are compelling. However, their strong
foundational feelings constitute the bedrock on which an outstanding institutional advancement program
can be built.
Both alumni and parent bodies include people of wealth and prominence, and there is good reason to
anticipate that as the College’s mostly youthful alumni mature and prosper, the number that is capable of
significant philanthropy will also grow and some portion of that philanthropy will be directed to their alma
mater. In the meantime, the College can continue to capitalize on its excellent standing in the
communities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore that include some of the wealthiest zip codes in America.
The Current Program.
At present, College Advancement consists of programs in Alumni Relations and Development that include
Annual Giving; Foundation and to a lesser extent, Corporate Relations; Major and Planned Giving;
Stewardship; and, an array of Advancement Services to support these efforts that includes Prospect
Research, Special Events and Gift Processing. Athletics fundraising is the responsibility of the Director of
Athletics, the coaches and current student athletes.
The Advancement staff numbers seventeen, with four professionals and one support staff reporting
directly to the Vice President. These include an Associate Vice President for Leadership Gifts, a Director of
Development, an Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations, a Director of Advancement Services and
an Executive Assistant. An organizational chart of the department can be found at the end of this
Fundraising totals over the past three years are as follows:
Source FY ’10 FY ’09 FY ’08
Alumni $1,596,075 892,376 1,303,839
Parents 534,929 608,170 744,174
Friends 370,981 1,789,702 666,120
Associations 67,768 84,196 140,387
Trusts/Fdns. 4,756,233 6,139,540 5,202,948
Companies 315,589 255,030 244,368
Matching 51,881 83,388 68,888
Bequests 1,717,117 7,771,785 1,552,773
TOTAL 9,410,572 15,624,187 9,867,427
The following Advancement activities and programs have contributed to these outcomes:
Major and Planned Giving
In addition to the Vice President, the Associate Vice President and the Director of Development are
dedicated to raising gifts of $50,000 or more. The Associate Vice President has been employed at
Washington College for 25 years and has a proven track record of fundraising success from foundations
and individual major donors. A long-time resident of the Eastern Shore who married into a well-known
local family, she has served as a trustee of the area’s top independent school and a member of the vestry
of the local Episcopal church. Through these and other relationships and because of the length of her
tenure with the College, she possesses positive relationships of longstanding with virtually every
significant donor to the College as well as with many other local non-affiliated prospects who have the
capacity to become donors in the near future. She enjoys her current role and has elected not to be a
candidate for this vice presidency.
The Director of Development is a relative newcomer to Washington College. He has raised significant
major and planned gifts, both in non-campaign and campaign modes, and brings sophisticated knowledge
of the financial industry and estate planning to his position. He enjoyed an early career as the director of
major and planned gift fundraising for DePauw University and Union College, followed by 20 years in the
financial services industry which included managing the charitable giving area for one the of largest banks
in the country and charitable gift and estate planning for high net worth individuals. In addition, he had
his own consulting firm that specialized in strategic planning and campaign planning for not-for-profits.
He returned to development work at the College in 2009.
The Director of Development has activity goals (travel days, number of visits, etc.), designed to measure
his productivity and progress. In the context of an anticipated campaign, there is interest on the part of
the development staff, Trustees and President Reiss in developing additional and more ambitious metrics
for all advancement staff for 2011 and the years beyond, although these measures have not been put in
Washington College makes little use of volunteers to conduct peer solicitations, but is considering doing
more in the future. Last year, 11 gifts of over $50,000 were secured, with that total split rather equally
among alumni, parents and friends. Gifts from current and emeritus board members are counted in their
respective source categories (alumni, parents, friends, etc.).
In the past decade, Washington College’s planned giving totals have been strong. Of the $103 million
raised in the last campaign, $22 million came in the form of irrevocable planned gifts. In FY ’09, more
than one third of all private funds received came in the form of bequests, while in other years the total
has been more modest, but nonetheless strong. The College has exploited the Director of Development’s
knowledge of the field to grow this program, although in this area too, there is potential for future
The Washington Fund, which is comprised of the Annual Fund and the Parents Fund and includes several
levels of giving societies, is administered by a staff of four. Total dollars raised through these vehicles have
been modest. Earlier this year, the College retained an outside consultant to evaluate and make
recommendations on improving its annual fund program. She found that, “To achieve dollar growth, The
Washington Fund has been strategically focused on high-end annual gifts, with a significant number of
lead annual gifts coming from the College's leadership boards. Indeed, in FY10 approximately 57 percent
of Washington Fund revenue was given by members of the College's leadership boards.
At the same time, overall donors to The Washington Fund have decreased by 9 percent since 2007 and
alumni donors to The Washington Fund have decreased 8 percent. The fact that Washington College has
seen a decrease in alumni donors is in keeping with a nationwide trend. However, the rate of Washington
College's decline is more significant than comparison groups, even allowing for the fact that alumni
participation rates are declining by generation and this poses is a particular challenge for Washington
College, whose graduates since 1990 make up a disproportionate share of the total alumni base.”
The consultant made a number of concrete and appropriate suggestions, some of which are already being
implemented, to grow annual giving and ensure that The Washington Fund becomes the bedrock of the
college’s individual fundraising programs.
Corporate and Foundation Relations
At Washington College, corporate and foundation relations is folded into major gifts work; there is no
staff dedicated exclusively to CFR. Despite this, over the years, the College has enjoyed impressive success
with national, regional and local foundations, including among others Kresge (close to $2 million), Mellon
($1.6 million), Arthur Vining Davis ($725,000), Jessie Ball DuPont ($2.24 million) and Starr Foundation
(over $10 million). In the most recent campaign, 24% of the total dollars raised was contributed by these
kinds of institutional donors.
The College’s relationship of over 75 years with the Hodson Trust bears special mention. Since the mid-
1930’s, this foundation, created by the family of Beneficial Corporation founder Col. Clarence Hodson to
support excellence in education, has supported research, academic and athletic programs, new facilities,
professorships and other initiatives at four Maryland colleges: Hood College, St. John’s College, Johns
Hopkins University and Washington College. Legend (and perhaps fact) has it that Colonel Hodson’s
automobile broke down in Chestertown one day in 1936 and a group of Washington College students
helped him to make repairs and resume his journey. The experience made him aware of the College’s
existence and ever since, Washington College has benefited from his gratitude. Last year, Washington
College received a $3 million grant. Over the history of this relationship, the College has received a total
of $52 million. In the last campaign, a special dollar-for-dollar endowment matching program supported
by The Hodson Trust leveraged an additional $12.4 million in private gifts. It is anticipated that The
Hodson Trust will dissolve within the next 15 years.
As with all parents programs, the Washington College program faces the challenges inherent in raising
funds from constituents whose close connection to the college typically lasts a mere four years. Yet, there
is untapped potential among parents of current students as well as parents of graduates. Washington
College is ramping up efforts to increase parent support and establishing a Parent's Council. One
Development Officer has been assigned parent prospects for discovery work.
Advancement Services is comprised of Prospect Research; Gift Receipts; and, Data Processing and
Reporting. This team of 5 is responsible for providing research support to the annual and major gift staff,
including the Director of Development, Associate Vice President for Leadership Gifts, Vice President for
College Advancement and President Reiss. More broadly, it supports College Advancement by indexing,
crediting and stewarding gifts and thanking donors and overseeing Advancement’s IT operations.
More than at other institutions, alumni relations at Washington College is a largely local affair. About half
of the 9,000 alumni reside in Maryland; the other half reside in all 50 states, with the largest
concentrations found along the East Coast and in California. The alumni include a number of graduates
who went on to renown in later life in the arts, business, government service, journalism, the medical
professions, and teaching, to name but a few. Dr. Ralph Snyderman, M.D. ’61 is Chancellor Emeritus at
Duke University, where he was the former Chancellor for Health Affairs and the first President and CEO of
the Duke University Health System. Marcia Invernizzi ’72 is the Edmund H. Henderson Professor of
Education and Director of the McGuffey Reading Center at the University of Virginia, where she
developed the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening Test (in use in 43 states across the nation) that
enables teachers to gauge students’ reading skills and tailor instruction to meet their individual needs.
Board Vice Chair Larry Culp ’85 serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Danaher Corporation,
which has a $14 billion market capitalization and is ranked as 213 on the Fortune 500 list. Dean Skelos ’70
serves as Majority Leader for the New York State Senate. Michael Ludden ’73 led The Orlando Sentinel to
a Pulitzer Prize as the editor who oversaw an investigation of racial profiling and the abuse of no-arrest
seizures laws by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The Alumni Relations program, staffed by three hard-working and committed Washington College
graduates and an administrative assistant, supports the development agenda by capturing and
maintaining the attention and involvement of a core group of alumni. Over the past three years, they
have created a set of structures to formalize and organize alumni involvement that utilizes a cadre of class
agents and chapter chairs; communication via print, email and social networking sites; and educational
events and reunions. Last year the College renovated Alumni House, a charming old building at the edge
of campus. It is now a place alumni can feel proud to visit.
Organizational structures. The Alliance is a large group of alumni volunteers who represent affinity
groups, classes and chapters within the Alumni Association. It meets once annually and serves as a
training ground for the Alumni Board. As noted above, the Alumni Board is the governing body of the
There are ten Alumni Chapters around the country that reflect the norm for organizations of this type;
some are more active than others depending on the individual volunteer leaders and overall, there has
been a significant increase in the number and the quality of events. Overall, approximately 200 volunteers
participate in the chapters on a consistent basis. The alumni relations staff is working to continue to
improve the number of alumni attending events and to improve the variety of events in order to attract
alumni with diverse interests.
Communications. In the past three years the College’s communications with alumni have improved. An e-
newsletter, recently reformatted, is sent monthly to 5000 of the 9000 solicitable alumni, while increasing
the number of “good” alumni email addresses is an on-going goal. In between, Alumni Relations sends
blast emails for events and major announcements. Like most of its peers, the College is making ample use
of social media. Its Facebook page has attracted over 1000 alumni as “friends,” while individual chapters
have their own pages on which they market local events. In addition, the College is active on LinkedIn,
Twitter, Blogger and Plaxo.
The College already has in place an effective link with alumni through its quarterly publication The
Washington College Magazine, sent free to all alumni, and which almost three-quarters of the alumni
body say they read—94 percent say they read the Class Notes. The Alumni Relations staff ensures the
presence of alumni in the Magazine. They create and edit the Class Notes and Obituary sections and craft
alumni profiles for inclusion in each issue. Finally, the Alumni Relations staff maintains current
information on the College website about and of interest to alumni, including a Google calendar of events,
detailed information regarding upcoming events (such as Look Who’s Coming),Reunion information,
alumni profiles, class profiles and information regarding ways to volunteer, to connect and to give to the
Events. Reunion is an important annual event at Washington College. Over the past 3 years the College
has been successful in increasing attendance by improving the variety and quality of Reunion
programming. By involving alumni more in the planning and the execution of Reunion the College has
increased alumni support and attendance. In addition, Alumni Relations staffed more than 40 events last
Opportunities and Challenges for the Next Vice President for College Advancement
Washington College requires an individual who will bring intelligence, accountability, ambition, discipline
and drive to the enterprises of development and alumni relations. The Vice President will be expected to
expeditiously gain knowledge and an understanding of the College’s academic and athletic programs,
strategic priorities and financial needs. She or he will build strong alliances and earn the respect and
confidence of President Reiss, the members of the BOV, fellow administrators and key faculty, alumni and
friends. One of the first orders of business will be to evaluate all current activities, identify those that
need strengthening, realign those that are not currently productive and introduce new initiatives where
As enumerated above, there are many challenges for the Vice President to tackle. She or he will be
expected to successfully accomplish the following:
Strategic and Operational Leadership
Provide wise and effective internal and external leadership for College Advancement. Build a
sophisticated multi-faceted fundraising program that consists of robust programs in annual
fundraising, major giving (including bequests and other forms of planned giving), corporate and
foundation relations and alumni relations that responds to the College’s long-term and short-
Evaluate and mentor existing staff while recruiting additional individuals to form a high-
functioning team of advancement professionals whose productivity is measured in concrete,
tangible outcomes. Manage this group of approximately 20 people, generating a high volume of
successful development activities and establishing a culture that encourages ever-improving
levels of performance and responsiveness both to donors and internal constituents.
Develop an easy and productive relationship with President Reiss, the BOV and colleagues on the
President’s Senior Staff and build strong ties to the faculty. Ensure that all of the development
staff do likewise, in order to maintain current understanding of the College’s academic programs
and priorities, and to engage an array of individuals in the fundraising process as appropriate.
Create strong relationships with the BVG and other key volunteers.
Help to identify, cultivate and attract future volunteer leadership, building a pipeline of dynamic
new leaders for the College.
Ensure that President Reiss is properly prepared and fully utilized as the chief emissary and most
effective principal gift fundraiser of the College.
Ensure that the Advancement Team effectively stewards current donors while launching a
systematic initiative to identify, cultivate and solicit other individuals and institutions capable of
making major gifts.
Work to broaden and deepen the participation of alumni and parents in supporting the College.
Devise ways to engage them in its life and future, recognizing that, while similarities exist, there
are significant generational differences in the attitudes, proclivities and modes of communication
and engagement of Washington College graduates.
Manage a caseload of some of the School’s top prospects, including individuals with the capacity
to make gifts at the level of $50,000 plus.
Bolster the administrative support functions to ensure that fundraisers have easy access to the
resources they need. Investigate opportunities to use new technologies in support of
advancement activities and programs.
Plan for and oversee significant growth and development of programs that engage alumni, in
particular student and young alumni.
Sharpen the Association’s focus, refine chapter programs, launch programs to engage currently
unaffiliated alumni, and improve communications.
Continue to develop key marketing/communications initiatives for the College’s programs of
alumni relations in coordination with the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Encourage the recruitment, training, and management of volunteers in support of the
Association’s mission. Identify the next generation of active volunteers and continue the work of
creating a “leadership ladder” to guide them towards the assumption of greater and greater
Review the Reunion program in full and evaluate current programming.
Empower staff through active and inclusive communication and delegation, and ensure staff
accountability for excellence and outcomes through clearly defined, collaboratively- established
and measurable goals.
Provide leadership and direction to staff, and model best practices. Encourage teamwork two-
way feedback, and the open flow of ideas that will result in the growth of a dynamic,
Exploit opportunities for modifying the development office’s existing organizational structure, in
order to assure coordination and maximum productivity.
Provide opportunities for staff to increase and enhance their skills so that they can function
effectively in positions of increasing responsibility. Delegate effectively in order to utilize staff to
their maximum potential.
Desired Qualifications and Characteristics
Personal and Professional Qualifications
An authentic appreciation for the education, experience and opportunities provided by the
liberal arts at Washington College and an ability to articulate its particular mission.
Knowledge of all advancement functions.
The intellectual heft, maturity, wisdom, humor, and consensus-building skills to garner the trust
and confidence of the alumni, the President, the BOV, the faculty, volunteers and other staff.
Strategic sophistication and the ability to articulate a vision for the future and to build and
institutionalize an organization capable of sustaining that future.
Demonstrated ability to leverage the time of senior staff and volunteers in contact with donors.
This includes strong preparation and good judgment about the extent to which cultivation can
effectively be staff driven.
Demonstrated success in personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major and principal
gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Experience planning and implementing a campaign, or at a minimum, a significant piece of a
major campaign (such as overseeing advancement for a unit within a large institution that has
conducted a campaign).
Proven management skills nurturing an accountable, goal-oriented and values-based institutional
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Willingness to travel.
Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
In addition, Washington College seeks to hire an individual who:
Creates things that are new and effective
Is creative and can manage innovation rather than being wedded to old “processes”; is an effective
strategist who generates ideas, spots opportunities, has diverse interests and knowledge; and, is
comfortable taking risks.
Is well organized, resourceful and efficient at marshalling multiple resources to get things done. Does
this with a leaner team and in less time; can work on multiple tasks at once without losing track;
foresees and plans around obstacles.
Focuses on action and outcomes
Attacks everything with drive and energy and with an eye on the bottom line; is not afraid to initiate
action before all the facts are known; drives to finish everything he/she starts; and, does not worry
about who gets credit.
Embraces accountability and ownership
Understands that the role of administrators is to facilitate the work of educating students. Jumps to
solve problems and abhors a “not my job” attitude. Is self-confident and appropriately thick-skinned.
Relates well to people
Is warm, friendly, appropriately informal and interpersonally agile; is easy to approach and talk to;
relates well to all kinds of people; inspires confidence on the first impression and builds solid
Inquiries and applications should be directed via email to:
Leodas Search Group, Inc.
Washington College is an equal opportunity employer and, as such, takes affirmative action to insure that
applicants for employment are considered, and employees are treated, in compliance with applicable laws
and regulations governing equal opportunity and non-discrimination in employment on the basis of race,
color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or other factors prohibited by law.