Pam Conlin: BGSU's new vice president for University Advancement
Pam Conlin joined BGSU as the new vice president for University Advancement in October after a successful 20-year career at Southern Methodist University in Texas, where she played a key role in SMU’s $1.15 billion comprehensive campaign. Most recently, as assistant vice president for principal and major gifts, she worked to develop and implement an aggressive plan for growth. Her extensive experience in advancement and alumni relations will help BGSU successfully complete its Changing Lives for the World campaign in 2020.
What challenge are you most excited about tackling in your new role leading University Advancement at BGSU?
As a public university, BGSU will require a dramatic increase in contributions from private sources to achieve its higher education goals. I am excited to lead the development of an organization and environment that educates alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff and students about the importance and relevance of private philanthropy to provide a solid foundation for new and repeat contributions. This education process will engage and strengthen relationships with all of our constituents that will lead to increased philanthropic contributions for BGSU.
What successes from SMU’s comprehensive campaign do you hope to replicate at BGSU?
Surpassing stated campaign funding goals. Increasing engagement and knowledge of funding priorities to elevate future contribution levels. Enhancing collaborative partnerships between University Advancement, other areas of the University, our more than 183,000 alumni and many friends to build upon campaign momentum. Expanding BGSU’s national outreach and visibility to grow support for the operational budgets of the University and increase the number of alumni donors. Ensuring continuity in staff and advancement operations. Enduring vision and sustained leadership of the president, University boards and councils, demonstrating to the BGSU family the important nature of this shared enterprise.
Your gift, of any amount, does make a difference in the lives of BGSU students.
What are some of the top priorities as BGSU moves into the second half of its comprehensive campaign?
Contributions are still needed to support scholarships for our students, to enhance current and develop new academic programs to prepare students for future careers, and the many programs and activities that provide a well-rounded university experience. Contributions also support retention and recruitment of outstanding faculty, research funding for their work and that of graduate students, and new and renovated facilities to house the activity that stimulates learning and the creation of new knowledge. Increasing our annual funding is very important for each fiscal year. BGSU must also increase endowment gifts to provide a sustainable foundation of support in perpetuity.
What do you want alumni and friends of BGSU to know about the Changing Lives for the World campaign?
Gifts to this campaign are having a profound and transformative impact on your University. Education changes the trajectory of a person’s life and their contributions to the communities in which they live and work. A successful campaign provides an opportunity to leverage momentum, continue the creation of new knowledge and enhance relationships that strengthen a culture of philanthropy. Your gift, of any amount, does make a difference in the lives of BGSU students. I encourage everyone to join us in changing lives for the world by making a campaign gift before the end of the fiscal year June 30, and to make a gift to BGSU every year!