In an announcement to Willamette staff and faculty, President Stephen Thorsett shared the news that Shelby Radcliffe will join Willamette as the Vice President for Advancement, effective February 1, 2016. Radcliffe currently serves as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Occidental College, a position she's held since 2012.
As part of her application to Willamette, Radcliffe noted the university's commitment to the liberal arts and professional education.
"I have a deep affection for a liberal arts college with small but strong professional programs. I believe that the core philosophy and pedagogy of the liberal arts creates graduate programs that are far superior to those at other institutions," Radcliffe wrote. "I also believe that graduate programs surrounding a liberal arts undergraduate education foster student development that is not just impressive but infused with practical application. The size and scope of Willamette feel perfect for maximizing the benefits of both."
In his announcement President Thorsett outlined Radcliffe's prior experience and strengths she will bring to Willamette, and thanked members of the community who assisted with the search process:
At Occidental, Shelby led efforts to prepare for an upcoming fundraising campaign, including the improvement of their development infrastructure and the recruitment of a diverse and talented team. Together, they increased fundraising by nearly 50% in those four years, to a college record of $30M last year.
Prior to her time at Oxy, Shelby worked in advancement at Bucknell University for fifteen years, including six as the Director of Campaign Administration, where she helped launch their current $500M campaign. Her undergraduate work in English Literature was done at Mount Holyoke College and Penn State, and she has a master's degree from Bucknell.
I want to give a special thanks at this time to the members of the search committee: Sammy Basu, Michael Beseda, Curtis Bridgeman, Val Cleary, Andrés Oswill, Beth Walsh, and particularly our three Trustee members, Bill Haden, Andy Miguel, and Guy Stephenson. Kristeen Jennings began as staff support to the committee, but became an essential contributor to every aspect of the search. Susan VanGilder and Veronica Fitzgerald at Storbeck/Pimentel were our search consultants. Together, this team did two essential jobs extraordinarily well: they recruited a very strong pool in a challenging market and identified a great candidate, and then through their own commitment and passion they made the case for "why Willamette" and helped recruit Shelby.
I'd also like to take a moment to thank all of the members of the Advancement division for their patience and extra efforts during a challenging transitional period, and especially the members of the senior leadership team, James Lippincott, Kathy Meza, and Dave Rigsby. When I announced last spring that I would serve as the Interim VP after Dennis Bergvall's departure, we all knew that much of the real burden would fall on the VP's direct reports (including also Kristeen). All have risen to the challenge with great energy and spirit, for which I am very grateful.