Sun10202019

Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12pm

News

Parsons Hired as New Associate Vice President

Parsons New Associate VPWendy Parsons has been hired as the University’s new Associate Vice President for Development in the Division of University Advancement after a stint at Saint Joseph’s University. 

Parsons said, “I’m thrilled to be joining the Monmouth advancement team and look forward to working with our leadership, faculty, alumni, parents and friends to achieve important new milestones in philanthropy for Monmouth.” 

The new Associate Vice President for Development will handle and oversee day-to-day supervisory responsibilities for the University’s major and planned giving programs. In her new role, Parsons will lead the school-based directors of development, the planned giving program, and prospect management and research.

Parsons said, “My goal is to work with faculty, students, and University leaders to build rewarding partnerships with our alumni and to bring more and more alumni back to campus so they can see what the difference their philanthropy makes in the lives of our students today.”

“In the near future, our top fundraising priority is maximizing the dollars we raise for student scholarships. This should make Monmouth more affordable for many of our students,” Parsons added.

“As we create more endowed scholarships and augment those we currently have, we will increase annual earnings earmarked for student support while simultaneously reducing the pressure on our colleagues in Enrollment Management who currently carry the burden of bringing in more than 94 percent,” said Jonathan Meer, Vice President for University Advancement.

Meer said, “These are the pathways through which the majority of contributed (philanthropic) dollars come to the University. The new Associate Vice President will also ensure that the fundraising priorities of the Deans and their schools are vetted and ultimately met.”  

As a member of the senior leadership team within advancement, Parsons will report directly to Meer and work closely with University deans and department heads to coordinate funding priorities across academic units and centers of excellence.

Parsons expressed that it is exciting to bridge communication between alumni and current students and extend to them new opportunities to help them succeed. “Whether its funding scholarships for students or providing support for students to do research with faculty or supporting particular academic programs, it’s very fulfilling to see dreams of making an impact on our campus come true,” said Parsons, while explaining her excitement with working with professionals that aim to help the campus community succeed. 

“For several years, Monmouth had an Assistant Vice President in this role. That person, Keith Richardson, left Monmouth early in 2018 to accept a Vice Presidency at another University. When I arrived in March, I wanted to ensure that we would attract a highly respected fundraising leader who would bring “best practices” in the Development field to the University. So, we upgraded the position and folded several existing fundraising-related positions under the auspices of the new role,” said Meer.

“This hiring will bolster the University by increasing the funding for Monmouth’s highest priorities. This year, as we conclude our Scholarship Campaign; ‘Together We Can,’ that means raising more scholarship dollars for our students and a larger endowment specifically restricted to student scholarships. In the future, that will mean funding for building needs, new and existing academic programs, faculty initiatives, athletics, and general operating support,” said Meer. 

“As Senior Class President and a member of the Scholarship Campaign, I see Wendy Parsons’ addition to the team as a vital step in the creating of a culture focused on giving here at Monmouth,” said Nicholas Verzicco, senior finance student, “Her experience really adds value to the already strong leadership and I look forward to seeing her progress as she falls into her new role.”

According to Meer, Parsons has proven herself to be a well-rounded fundraiser with experience ranging from St. Joseph’s University, in a similar role as now, and Fox Chase Cancer Center. She received her undergraduate degree from Grinnell College and her master’s degree from Stanford.

During her tenure at Saint Joseph’s, Parsons managed the public phase of its $150 million Faith to Dare Campaign and led the fundraising teams in major gifts, planned giving, parent giving, and corporate and foundation relations.

Parsons said, “I’ve had the great pleasure of working with alumni to fund new scholarships for students and to provide millions of donors for financial aid which is vitally important for students today to achieve a high caliber, private higher education.”

Her leadership was instrumental in the establishment of signature programs, growth in endowed and operating scholarship, and in the acquisition of the Maguire campus. Prior to Saint Joseph’s, Parsons worked at Fox Chase Cancer Center for six years where she led their grateful patient fundraising program.

“I’m an optimistic person. I have found that optimism will take you very far in life and in your career,” said Parsons. “I’ve also admired Albert Einstein’s view on life, and I have one of his quotations here in my office at Monmouth: ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’”

“The biggest result I expect to come from hiring Wendy Parsons is a raising of the bar of our fundraising program. In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, we raised $9.2 million in gifts and pledges. That was more than 40 percent above what the University raised in the prior year,” commented Meer.

 “With Wendy Parsons here, I hope and believe we will take our fundraising program to another level, perhaps $12-15 million this year. Our aspirations are to use that heightened level of performance as a springboard to even better results in the coming years,” he continued. 

Meer argues that the University is motivated to increase the academic and co-curricular experiences that our students have and to educate future alumni in our family.

Parsons said, “I’d like to make a difference here at Monmouth by doing my best and helping others to do their best so that together we can achieve important new milestones for Monmouth going forward.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University

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