Olin College welcomes Vice President for Advancement to build innovate fundraising program

Founded in 1997 and located outside Boston, Massachusetts, Olin College of Engineering has redefined engineering as a profession of innovation encompassing the consideration of human and societal needs. With 330 students and an endowment of nearly $400M, the College holds one of the highest per-student endowments in the country and has been identified by MIT as providing one of the top undergraduate engineering educations in the world. The College is regarded as an important global contributor, preparing the broadly educated, multifaceted, and collaborative engineering leaders the world needs today.

Olin engaged Development Guild in 2018 to conduct the search for a new Vice President for Advancement (VP). There had been a number of people in the position over the years, so Olin was seeking a strategic and experienced candidate who would provide stability through longevity. This was especially important as the College’s President had recently made the decision to retire the following year, and the new VP would be joining Olin before the succeeding President was to be chosen. In addition, the new VP would have the opportunity to build an innovative fundraising program and to engage parent and alumni constituencies who hadn’t been previously.

The search generated a high level of interest from a broad range of qualified candidates, who were attracted to Olin’s nontraditional mission and brand and the chance to lead a development team into a new philanthropic era for the College. Key to the search’s success was our ability to partner with Olin to capture and present the unique opportunities the VP role held. The search concluded with the placement of Beth Kramer, former Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations at Harvard Graduate School of Design. At Harvard, Beth had helped to transform the development and alumni relations program and raised $160M+ in new gifts, including a $70M pledge – the largest gift in their history. At Olin, Beth leads a team of 11 in promoting educational innovation within the campus walls and collaborating with partners around the world to transform engineering education, and undergraduate education as a whole.

We hired Development Guild DDI for the first time to conduct our search for a Vice President for Advancement. We had done a number of senior development searches over the years, and the pool of candidates Development Guild presented was, by far, the best we had ever seen. Any of the three finalists could have been an excellent hire.

- Stephen Hannabury, Executive Vice President

Contact us to learn more about our executive search services.

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