April 23, 2010

New development director appointed to oversee financial growth

University of Pennsylvania administrator Thomas Farrell was appointed Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development, the University announced yesterday. Farrell will oversee University fund-raising and encourage philanthropy starting July 1.

Farrell, who has 22 years of university development experience, has held similar positions at two Ivy League universities and a law school. In a letter written to deans and senior administrators and quoted in a Thursday press release, President Robert Zimmer said Farrell would develop the alumni network.

“We are confident that Tom’s experience and qualities will make him an effective leader in building on this history [of loyal alumni and friends] to further the University’s essential missions and goals,” Zimmer said.

Farrell’s first experience with university development was at the University of Rochester, where he received his B.A. and M.S. in education. After overseeing a major gift program at Rochester, he moved to Dartmouth, where he helped structure the college’s $1.3 billion fundraising campaign. He also filled a similar position at University of Buffalo Law School. His current role as Associate Vice President for Undergraduate and Individual Giving at the University of Pennsylvania has made him a leader in the university’s $3.5 billion fundraising campaign.

Farrell will be joining the development office after a period of significant growth—the University finished a $2.4 billion fundraising campaign in 2008. “I am excited to be joining a University that not only has a distinctive academic culture, but is in the midst of a remarkable period of achievement and growth,” Farrell said in the press release.

Farrell is replacing interim Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development, Michele Schiele, who will return to her old, full-time job as Vice President for Development in the Medical Center. Farrell’s position takes effect July 1.