December 7, 2012Dear Members of the University Community,
After carefully considering the input from the search process and after additional conversations with our candidate, I have selected Gary R. Olsen to serve as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, a choice endorsed by the Board of Trustees earlier today. For the past 20 years, Gary has served as Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the Alumni Association at Villanova University, Villanova.
A nationally recognized professional with more than 35 years of experience, Gary will bring a superior strategic vision and a deep commitment to engaging the wider campus community in development and alumni relations. I am delighted to report that he has enthusiastically accepted our offer and will officially begin his duties on February 4, 2013.
Gary has dedicated his entire professional career to serving education and nonprofit organizations. As the longest-tenured person in his position in Villanova’s history, Gary has played a leading part in crafting an integrated development and alumni relations program, involving him in all aspects of development and alumni relations. He has been involved in the strategic and operational development of two capital campaigns and is responsible for a portfolio of major gift prospects. He founded an award-winning Leadership Summit, established an Alumni Association Board of Directors, instituted a corporate partners program and was one of the first nationally to use technology as an alumni engagement strategy.
Gary currently serves as a member of the Council for the Support and Advancement of Education (CASE) Board of Trustees and chairs the CASE Commission on Alumni Relations. CASE is the preeminent international organization serving some 3,500 institutional members and 36,000 development, alumni relations and communications professionals. He has presented at national and international educational programs and conferences, and frequently contributes to CASE Currents, the organization’s magazine.
His service to Catholic higher education coupled with extensive volunteer leadership is a testament to Gary’s eagerness to advance our Catholic and Jesuit mission. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to service and social justice. He regularly visits the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, Pa., where he founded a chapter of the Villanova Alumni Association for men who have earned degrees from Villanova University during their incarceration.
Gary earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice and a master’s degree in counseling and human relations from Villanova. Before joining Villanova in 1993, he held a number of leadership and counseling positions throughout the Philadelphia area, including Executive Director of the National Adoption Network, Executive Director of the Alcoholism & Addictions Council, and Administrative Director of the Lincoln Center for Family and Youth.
Gary and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of three children, Matthew, Nicholas and Gaby.
In a particular way, I want to thank the members of the Search Committee. With the guidance of their chair, Jerry DeSanto, and the assistance of Tricia Day and Bobby Davis, they have done a conscientious job throughout this process.
I know that you will all join me in welcoming Gary to The University of Scranton.
Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.