Lyndon State College has announced administrative changes in the departments of Alumni Affairs and Institutional Advancement. Jenny Kempton Harris ’79 has been appointed as the new executive director of development and alumni affairs by Lyndon’s President Joe Bertolino. Harris, formerly Lyndon’s director of development, will supervise the day-to-day operations and functions of the institutional advancement office. “She is also the point person for alumni affairs,” said Bertolino.
Harris grew up in Peacham on her family’s dairy farm and graduated from Lyndon with a degree in Theater. She has held administrative positions for a variety of companies from Vermont to Colorado to Australia. Harris has served on many boards and committees including the “Peace with Justice” and “Social Concerns” Committees at Father Dyer Methodist Church, the Breckenridge Ski Resort Support Group, and the Peacham Historical Association board. Harris currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Planned Giving Council of NH & VT and is working toward a degree in Business Administration at Lyndon.
As executive director, Harris will now coordinate, provide and direct a full range of support to annual and long-range fundraising and development efforts of the College. The director is also the major gifts and planned giving officer with responsibility for cultivating and stewarding donor relationships with alumni, friends, parents, businesses, and foundations. Harris will also act as college liaison with alumni of Lyndon State.
Bertolino also announced that Bill Laramee will provide consultation to the office of institutional advancement and assist in the development of an institutional advancement strategic plan. Laramee came to Lyndon in 1978 as dean of students, left in 1999 as dean of institutional advancement, and retired as vice president emeritus for Alumni and College Relations at Kentucky’s Berea College. He has been honored by the state of Vermont with the Martha H. O’Connor Award for Private Citizen Contribution to Public Education.
The changes were precipitated by two events: LSC’s Dean of Institutional Advancement Bob Whittaker’s departure to pursue a doctorate degree on July 1, and the resignation of Hannah Manley, director of alumni relations and development in January 2014. According to Bertolino, “The departure of both Bob and Hannah presented an opportunity to restructure and rethink the operation of the office of institutional advancement as well as create a new strategic plan for development and alumni affairs.” Bertolino has assumed the role and function of the dean of institutional advancement for the coming academic year.
Bertolino added that the College’s fund raising efforts will focus on securing financial aid and scholarship monies, annual fund contributions, and unrestricted gifts.