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Renowned hospice leader Mary Lerner named assistant dean for advancement in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences
Renowned hospice leader Mary Lerner named assistant dean for advancement in SU’s College of Arts and SciencesFebruary 12, 2007Rob Enslinrmenslin@syr.edu
Mary Lerner ’66, a Syracuse resident internationally renowned for her leadership of philanthropic organizations, especially in hospice and palliative care, has been appointed assistant dean for advancement in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University (A&S).
Lerner brings more than four decades of professional philanthropic experience to SU. Most recently, she was principal of M. Lerner & Associates, Stage 4 Consulting, a local firm working with area individuals and not-for-profits on issues of philanthropy, charitable foundation structure and operation, board development and fundraising strategies.
Lerner is widely known for having served as president/COO of Hospice and Palliative Associates from 1985-2005. During her tenure, she transformed virtually every aspect of the local hospice program and was responsible for bringing hospice care into the mainstream of area health services. In 1995, Lerner was instrumental in creating the Hospice Foundation of Central New York, of which she served as president/CEO until 2005. Under her leadership, the foundation raised funds for capital projects, exceeding its goal by $2.3 million, and opened a permanent “home for the hospice,” which serves families in Onondaga, southern Oswego and western Madison counties.
“Mary brings a rare combination of leadership experiences and skills to this new post,” says Arts and Sciences Dean Cathryn R. Newton. “Her arrival signals a new chapter in the life of The College, as we help SU embark on its most ambitious advancement campaign to date.”
“The University is delighted to be working with Mary, in her capacity as both a distinguished alumna and an administrator with an explicitly broad portfolio. Her strong background in leadership, development and strategic planning makes her an important interface between the college and our central development office,” adds Lil O’Rourke, SU vice president and chief development officer.
In her new position, Lerner will have oversight of all advancement activities in A&S, including development, endowment management, alumni relations and marketing communications. In particular, she will provide strategic planning and leadership for advancement campaigns in the life sciences, humanities and behavioral sciences.
A&S is currently building the $107-million Life Sciences Complex, which opens in fall 2008 and is SU’s largest academic construction project to date. In January, A&S re-opened the historic Tolley Building, housing the Center for the Public and Collaborative Humanities and the Imagining America national consortium for public scholarship in the arts, humanities and design.
“As a daughter of The College, I am delighted to return to Arts and Sciences, joining efforts with University leadership, faculty, students and alumni to foster the relationships and secure the resources needed to move forward with today’s obligations and tomorrow’s challenges,” says Lerner, who majored in English at SU.
From 2005-06, Lerner served as vice president of resource development at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Alexandria, Va. In this capacity, she provided internal team leadership for the parent organization, the National Hospice Foundation, as well as for the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on strategic planning and board and donor cultivation and relations.
Lerner is a member of the Syracuse Thursday Morning Roundtable and Governance Council of the Women’s Fund of Central New York. She chaired the boards of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State and Rosewood Heights Health Center, served on the YWCA board, and was commissioner of the Syracuse and Onondaga County Drug and Alcohol Commission and Onondaga County Human Rights Commission.
Kathleen Mezzalingua, former chair of Hospice of Central New York, credits Lerner for personally nurturing the hospice movement in the region. “Quietly and effectively, she has made Hospice a source of pride and a first-tier target for community investment — from gifts by philanthropic individuals to grants and estates, from volunteer workers to in-kind contributions.”
The College of Arts and Sciences was established in 1870 as Syracuse University’s founding college. Today, A&S remains the academic heart of SU, serving as the center for undergraduate learning and the flagship college where all University students take classes. Research and teaching flourish at the highest levels, and graduate students in master’s and doctoral degree programs are mentored by nationally renowned leaders, writers and scientists in an environment of rigor and creativity.