Advancement News

Osborne Joins College of Business

SPRING16advancement-news-1Chris Osborne, formerly of Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, has been named the new assistant director of development for the College of Business.

He will be responsible for the Eagle Executive Exchange networking events, the Eagle Executive Society memberships, the Young Alumni Board and the Student Advisory Board, in addition to annual and leadership gifts.

Pam Stovall, senior director of development, was excited to welcome the new addition to the University’s fundraising corps and the College. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the talent and energy that Chris has brought to our team,” she said.

Osborne has served as a development officer at Ringling for five years. He holds a B.A. in political science and government from the University of Georgia. He holds memberships in the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Southwest Florida Planned Giving Council.


Ramfjord Joins College of Education

SPRING16advancement-news-2Though on the job only a short while, John Ramfjord has hit the ground running, energizing the alumni and friends of the College of Education. Ramfjord has joined University Advancement as the associate director of annual giving for the College.

The former Georgia Southern athletics ticket manager and assistant director of Eagle Sports Marketing held a variety of increasingly responsible positions with Georgia Southern Athletics after joining their staff in 2007.

At the College of Education, Ramfjord’s role will be to ramp up alumni engagement. “Teaching and educational administration are the University’s longest established programs, and we need to make sure we are doing the best we can to keep them in the forefront of supporters’ minds,” said Director of Annual Giving Gloria Goosby.

“John is already out meeting and talking with the College’s constituencies about ways they can partner with the College and advance its mission. We need to develop the College of Education’s affinity groups and events and encourage more people to give of their time, talent and treasure.”

Ramfjord is a 1998 alumnus, earning a B.A. degree in history and a master’s degree in sport management.


Bardot Joins Engineering and Information Technology

SPRING16advancement-news-3Bringing more than a decade of experience and having secured major gifts from $100,000 to $1 million, Danese Bardot has joined the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology as senior director of development.

“Danese has an impressive record in the advancement field and we’re looking forward to what I’m sure will be valuable contributions to our team’s mission,” said Michael Shippam, associate vice president for major gifts and the campaign. “I am confident she will take the development role in the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology to a new and higher level.”

Bardot is a certified fundraising executive who comes to Georgia Southern from Rutgers University where she served as director of development for biomedicine and health sciences.  Her experience encompasses technical expertise in designing comprehensive development programs including annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation support, alumni relations, and parent programs.

She has also served as development officer at Western Washington University, Elgin Academy and Pacific Hills School in West Hollywood, California. At Rutgers, she built and managed an active portfolio of 125-175 of qualified prospects with the capacity to give $100,000 or more.

Bardot earned a B.A. degree in management from the University of Redlands (California), a M.P.A. degree from the University of Southern California, and a J.D. degree from Syracuse University College of Law.

After earning her law degree, Bardot had a successful federal clerkship with a U.S. federal bankruptcy judge and later worked in mergers and acquisitions before transitioning to educational fundraising.


Johnston to Lead Planned Giving

SPRING16advancement-news-4Christopher Johnston has joined University Advancement as its associate vice president for trusts, estates and gift planning and is leading the drive to secure gifts based on donors’ estate planning priorities.

Johnston comes to Georgia Southern with an extensive background in philanthropic giving including his most recent post as vice president of advancement for Goodwill Industries where he played an instrumental role in launching Helms College, the first Goodwill-affiliated higher education in the U.S.

Prior to Goodwill, Johnston served as the president’s senior council for university campaigns and vice president of development at University of the Pacific in California; as the assistant vice president of engagement at The University of Virginia during its $3 billion campaign; and as assistant vice president and director of the University of California, Irvine’s $1 billion campaign.

Johnston holds a B.F.A. in theater from Boston University, an M.A. in Chinese Studies and an M.A. in Japanese Studies from the University of Southern California, as well as a J.D. from USC. He also earned a specialist in planned giving certification from the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies.


Harn Crafting Campaign Messages

SPRING16advancement-news-5Leading efforts to ensure the visibility and messaging of the University’s comprehensive campaign will be Angela Harn, who recently joined University Advancement as senior director for campaign promotions.

Harn will be working closely with the Office of Donor Relations, the UA director of communications, the University’s Office of Marketing and Communications and other UA directors to administer promotional outreach and materials relating to the ongoing campaign. She will provide strategic leadership in developing and implementing the campaign. Harn will also be charged with developing marketing and advertising plans for the Advancement giving societies, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations signature programs.

Previously, Harn served in the University’s Office of Marketing and Communications for six years, most recently as the director of marketing and advertising. Since 2009, she has led marketing and advertising activities for Georgia Southern, planning, developing and implementing programs supporting admissions, recruitment and University Advancement activities.

Other professional experience includes more than 20 years in broadcast marketing, including the position as general sales manager of a five-station Savannah-based radio group.

She is a graduate of Troy State University with a B.S. in advertising and public relations/broadcast journalism.


Advancement Captures GEAC Institutional Excellence Award

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The Georgia Education Advancement Council (GEAC) has awarded Georgia Southern’s University Advancement division its Institutional Excellence in Advancement Award for recent achievements.
The award is presented to a GEAC-member college or university that has demonstrated outstanding performance and commitment to the field of higher education advancement. The staff must have made significant and specific professional contributions that have yielded positive results for their office, institution and field.

The Division was selected from among more than 70 statewide member institutions — public and private colleges and universities and the state’s technical colleges.

Among the highlights was a 143 percent increase in annual donations from FY 2012 to FY 2015. Donations enjoyed a sharp rise from $3,290,951 in FY 2012 to $8,014,604 last year. These figures include planned gifts, outright gifts and pledges. Funds distributed by the Foundation for awards and scholarships nearly doubled — from $750,000 in FY 2012 to more than $1.46 million in FY 2015.

The Office of Alumni Relations enjoyed a sharp rise in sponsored events and alumni participation. Last year, 7,323 alumni attended Office-sponsored events compared to 6,534 the previous year. In FY 15, Alumni Relations hosted a record 186 events vs. 47 in FY 12.

Other accomplishments included the addition of a dedicated planned giving officer, a gift officer to boost fundraising in each the University’s colleges, and the addition of two new donor recognition societies.

Representing University Advancement at the 2015 GEAC Conference were, back row, l-r: Wendell Tompkins, Angela Harn, Jodi Collins, Melanie Mosley, Salinda Arthur, Pam Stovall, Alex Washington, Kelly Pope, Ginger Karrh, Chris Osborne and Rachel Miller. Kneeling, l-r, are Seth Walker, Christopher Johnston, Ross Davis and Brad Carr.

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