The college’s Builders of Excellence
Campaign began on July 1, 2001. With high hopes we launched the campaign
right into what is now being called the worst environment for fund-raising
in recent history. In spite of all that the Builders of Excellence
Campaign recently passed the (drum roll, please) $17 million mark on
the way to our goal of $24 million!
Southwestern wouldn’t be celebrating such a remarkable
achievement without the help of supporters who are hard core. Ward Cole
is hard core; serious, old school, hard core. Ward is a member of the
Southwestern College Class of 1930. He served the college across four
decades (!) as a member of our Board of Trustees and has been involved
in every big undertaking at Southwestern since the 1950s. Ward recently
pledged a gift of $1 million to the Builders of Excellence
Campaign (see Cole Hall Special
Ward won’t offer a complicated explanation for
his gift. He just says he owes the college a lot. To work for a college
that inspires that sort of loyalty is humbling, and energizing. With
Ward’s help, and yours, our campaign will succeed.
Once in a while someone looks at my title and makes
an assumption about what I do at Southwestern College.
“Vice president for institutional advancement?
Oh, that means you’re a fundraiser.”
If I’m short of time, I smile and nod. But if
I have a moment or two, I clarify what I really do.
My job is to connect with alumni and friends of the
college who believe in its vision and mission, and want to help that
vision become reality. Then I try to find ways they can do just that.
Sometimes (okay, much of the time) that means I’m
a fundraiser. I believe in the Builders of Excellence capital
campaign, and so do all of you who have helped us reach $17 million
toward its goal. So I help you make your gifts in the way that will
satisfy both you and the college.
Sometimes, it means I’m working with our alumni
program personnel as we look for the best ways to serve our two constituencies—our
current alumni, and our future alumni (current and prospective students).
That might mean helping develop programs that pair current students
with alumni mentors, or making sure our alumni have ways to refer prospective
students to the college, or promoting programs that provide congenial
traveling groups. (SC’s New Year’s trip to Hawaii was so
congenial, in fact, that two of us couples were honeymooning.)
Beginning this summer institutional advancement will
mean helping promote the new alumni directory project to give our constituents
a way to get in touch with others who share an affinity for Southwestern
Fundraising? That’s an important part of it. But
advancing Southwestern College—that’s what I really do.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement