Thursday April 26, 2007

Shaping the Future

The University of Dayton has named a seasoned advancement professional to lead its advancement division. Deborah Read, vice president for university development at the University at Albany, State University of New York, begins July 2.

The University of Dayton has tapped Deborah Read, vice president for university development at the University at Albany, State University of New York, to lead its advancement division.

She will bring nearly three decades of experience in fundraising, alumni relations and public relations to her new role as vice president for University advancement at Ohio's largest private university and one of the top 10 Catholic universities in the nation. She steps into the role in July.

"Deborah has served in top-level advancement positions at institutions ranging from nationally ranked research universities to a religiously affiliated liberal arts college. She's a consummate professional who inspires confidence. Using a collaborative style, she has built strong advancement programs on every campus where she has worked," said Daniel J. Curran, UD president. "The University of Dayton's aspirations are high, and its momentum is strong. We are excited that she is joining UD at this pivotal point in our history."

The University of Dayton raised a record $158 million in its "Call to Lead" campaign that ended in 2002. UD, which attracted $28.8 million in gifts and pledges last year, ranks fourth among national Catholic universities, behind the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University and Boston College, in its annual alumni participation rate. In May, UD's board of trustees is expected to approve preliminary priorities for another major campaign, but no goal will be set yet.

"This institution is truly well positioned for a successful new campaign," said Read in a phone interview. "I felt a sense of enthusiasm throughout the campus community, great expectations for the future, with a sincere dedication and commitment to advance the University of Dayton to even greater levels of excellence."

Last year, the University at Albany, State University of New York, attracted $85.7 million in philanthropy.

Prior to joining the University at Albany in 2005, Read spent six years as vice president for university advancement at Northern Kentucky University, where she implemented a major marketing initiative and raised $51 million - $11 million over goal and nine months ahead of schedule.

Her career also includes serving for three years as vice president of advancement for Lebanon Valley College, where she chaired the college's first integrated marketing study, and a decade at the University of Maryland, where she last served as director of development during a $350 million campaign. The university received a national award of excellence for overall improvement in fundraising from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in 1996.

Upon graduating from the University of Maryland in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in government and politics, she began her career in advancement, working six years at the University of Maryland's System Administration, starting as assistant director of alumni affairs and ending as associate director of development. During her career, she also has served as director of finance on a congressional campaign and worked as a consultant for the American Association of University Consultants. She has served on the board of directors for CASE District II and has presented at various CASE conferences.

"It has been a privilege to dedicate nearly my entire career to the advancement profession - serving at wonderful colleges and universities. It has been a distinct pleasure to work collaboratively to dramatically enhance each institution, shape its future and impact the lives of the students we served," said Read, noting that her leadership style is collaborative. "No one person is responsible for an institution's success -- engagement of the whole allows for great things to happen. I've been blessed by working with outstanding individuals."

The University of Dayton's rich history, committed faculty and loyal alumni attracted Read, but the integrity of UD sold her. "You live the words on the Web site," she observed. "The University of Dayton actually means what it says. The University is committed to graduating students who are thoughtful citizens of the world. There's great care and attention given to the university's mission. I am honored and pleased to become a part of such a great university."

Read and her husband Bob, a senior project manager with a commercial electrical contracting company in Northern Virginia, have three children: Victoria, 25; Sean, 20; and Catherine, 16. A Maryland native, she's looking forward to moving to the Midwest.

"I really enjoy this part of the country. I find the people to be very warm and welcoming," she said.

Read succeeds Fran Evans, who more than tripled annual philanthropic support during her 14-year tenure. In a part-time role, Evans will serve as senior philanthropic adviser.