Syracuse University’s Office of Development is restructured; three receive new appointments
The Office of Development within Syracuse University?s Division of Institutional Advancement has been restructured. Under the new configuration, the office has been split into three units–advancement services, leadership gifts and giving programs. ?We are organizing the area to take advantage of opportunities with donors that will help us as we continue in our fund-raising campaigns,? says John D. Sellars, senior vice president for institutional advancement. As part of the restructuring, Sellars has announced three appointments, effective March 15: ? Linda L. Bennett G?80 has been named assistant vice president for advancement services. She previously served as executive director of development information systems. ? Thomas D. Harblin has been appointed vice president of giving programs. He previously served as assistant vice president for major gifts and international development. ? Thomas J. Walsh G?84 has been named vice president of leadership gifts. He previously was assistant vice president for development and public affairs for New York City.
Bennett will oversee the areas of research, donor relations, alumni and donor records and technical systems and services. As executive director of development information services, she had responsibility for individual donor research, corporate and foundation information resources, and maintenance of the alumni and development information system–information that is necessary for the success of the fund-raising, and donor and alumni relations activities of the University. Most recently, Bennett oversaw the implementation of the BSR advance client/server system. The BSR system was the first major client/server system to be implemented on campus. The University went live on the system in July 1997. ?It?s always very challenging to convert to a new information system–and a client/server conversion at that,? Sellars says. ?It went very well, and that speaks of Linda?s talent in this position. We want to focus all of those services in one area, and Linda is an obvious choice to lead these efforts.?
In his new position, Harblin will oversee giving programs comprising gifts of less than $1 million, including the University?s Annual Fund, planned giving, corporation and foundation development, college-based development and international development. Harblin will also have oversight of a new special projects team, which will provide assistance to SU?s college-based development officers in meeting the unique goals of the schools and colleges. Fund raising for the new School of Management building is one example of a project for which the new team–led by annual giving executive director William O?Brien–will offer assistance. ?Leadership of these programs takes somebody who has a keen eye for organization, who knows how to lay things out and monitor the plans to make sure that we?re taking the right course,? says Sellars. ?Tom is very talented at that. He?s been here a long time, he understands the programs, and he knows how they fit together. That?s what we were looking for in the giving programs.? As assistant vice president of development for major gifts and international development, Harblin led a team that solicits special gifts from donors who have either contributed $10,000 or more to SU or who have been identified as willing or capable of making such a gift.
Walsh will lead all leadership gift efforts to solicit gifts of $1 million or more. As vice president for development and public affairs in New York City, Walsh oversaw the University?s efforts to expand and strengthen its fund-raising, public and alumni relations, and marketing activities in the greater New York area. ?When we started looking at the area of leadership gifts, we knew that we needed someone who is able to understand the special needs of leadership donors, and who is a strategic thinker,? Sellars says. ?Tom?s experience in New York has given him a good background for the position. He will do a great job.? Bennett joined SU in 1984 as manager of research for the Office of Government, Corporate and Foundation Relations. She accepted a position as director of program development in the School of Information Studies in 1990, and became executive director of development information systems in 1994. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Information Studies and serves as chair of the BSR Advance Client/Server Special Interest Group and is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and CASE?s Matching Advisory Council. Bennett received a bachelor?s degree from Clarion State University in 1971 and a master?s degree from the School of Information Studies in 1980. Harblin joined the development team in 1988 as director of corporate and foundation relations. He has held the positions of senior director of corporate and foundation relations (1993-96), senior director of major gifts and international development (1996-98) and assistant vice president of development for major gifts and international development (1998-2001).
He previously served as a dean of Utica College and vice president of academic affairs at Paul Smith?s College, and taught sociology at Rollins College in Florida and Colorado State University. Harblin received a bachelor?s degree in Spanish from Le Moyne College in 1965 and master?s and doctoral degrees in development sociology from Cornell University in 1968 and 1971, respectively. He has contributed articles to several social science and environmental journals, and has given workshop presentations and lectures at higher education conferences across the country. Harblin earned a Decoration of Honor from Rollins College in 1980 and was named Outstanding Young Educator by the Orlando, Fla., Jaycees in 1977. He is a past recipient of an Arthur Vining Davis Fellowship and a Fulbright-Hayes Graduate Research Fellowship. Walsh joined SU in 1979 as a dramaturg and main stage director for Syracuse Stage. From 1987 to 1991 he was events administrator for the Division of Student Affairs, working with students in staging dance, music, theatre and other cultural events on campus. He was also involved with the opening of Goldstein Auditorium. He joined the development team in 1991 as director of major gifts for Washington, D.C. He organized SU?s Washington, D.C., Advisory Board, and in 1995 expanded his responsibilities with a dual appointment as senior director of development and director of federal relations in the Office of Government and Community Relations. Walsh secured major gifts for the Commitment to Learning campaign (including the $3.2 million naming gift from Jules Setnor ?32, MD ?35 and Rose Setnor ?33 for the School of Music and Crouse College Auditorium) and secured more than $7 million in federal research appropriations for SU faculty. He was appointed assistant vice president for development and public affairs for New York City in 1999. Since assuming that position, Walsh has secured leadership gifts to establish the Gene Media Forum, the naming gift for the Remembrance Scholarship Program, and gifts for the Tepper Center for Careers in Theatre and the Menschel Media Center. Walsh is the past chair of the Light Work Board of Directors and served as an advisory panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts from 1983 to 1995. He holds a bachelor?s degree from Le Moyne College (1971) and an M.F.A. from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (1984).