Letter from the Assistant Dean for Advancement

Letter from the Assistant Dean for Advancement

I share this as context for how radically our work has changed—just like last November, at a combined meeting of the Whitman Advisory Council (WAC) and Young Whitman Advisory Council (YWAC) on campus, WAC chair Lisa Fontenelli '86 (WHIT/NEW) facilitated an in-depth discussion of the near-term priorities of the School and possible ways the University's Forever Orange Campaign could help accelerate our progress. The members in attendance, both in-person and connected via Zoom, asked important questions and offered thoughtful suggestions that have informed our thinking about our fundraising priorities. A specific action step that came out of the session was to crowdsource this exchange of ideas with Whitman stakeholders across the country.

Over the first half of 2022, as anxiety about gatherings has eased a bit, we have had the opportunity to bring together small groups of Whitman alumni in several cities. Thanks to the leadership of members of the WAC and YWAC who have hosted these get-togethers, Dean Anderson and members of the School’s Advancement and External Affairs team have had in-depth discussions about many topics, most revolving around how to build on recent successes in the remaining two years of the Forever Orange Campaign. In March, we met in multiple cities in Florida, followed by Chicago in early April. By the time you read this, we will have had sessions in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco and we are planning several more.

This wonderful magazine and our monthly email newsletters are examples of our efforts to keep the many friends of Whitman informed. The roundtable discussions have added an entirely new dimension to our communication, as we have gone into much greater depth, in real time, on topics that are important to our alumni, parents and friends. They have also afforded us the chance to listen. The two-way dialogue has been incredibly valuable. The feedback, suggestions and input provided by our stakeholders have been priceless. I am looking forward to sharing a more detailed summary on how productive these have been—and an appreciation of the numerous alumni leaders who made them possible—in our fall magazine.

As I have written here before, private philanthropy is essential for Whitman’s progress and the implementation of our strategic plan. Within the University’s Forever Orange Campaign, over the next two years, your investment in the School will fuel our progress and continued rise in the rankings. I hope you will consider including Whitman in your philanthropic plans and joining our Forever Orange Campaign.

Christopher Crooker
Assistant Dean for Advancement