Toward an increased focus on alumni relations and advancement, Mercyhurst College President Dr. Tom Gamble announces that fellow Syracuse University graduate Linda Bennett has joined the college as vice president of development. Bennett began her duties Tuesday, Jan. 2.
She has been tasked with enhancing the advancement infrastructure, including its systems and processes. Gamble has asked Gary Bukowski to devote his 26-year fundraising experience to major gifts.
“As Mercyhurst looks to achieve our vision with a simultaneous focus on keeping tuition costs sensible and stabilizing enrollment growth, it is becoming increasingly imperative to grow the endowment and to find new sources of support,” Gamble said.
Bennett comes to Mercyhurst with more than 25 years of experience in college advancement, alumni relations, program development and information technology. Though she has served at Syracuse for more than 22 of those years, she has held many positions throughout the university, including her most recent title of assistant vice president for advancement services. As part of her varied responsibilities, information management has continued as a common thread in each of her roles.
She was the first person to have a personal computer at Syracuse’s development office and has continued to lead change initiatives throughout her tenure. Over the years she led the effort to implement the first major client server system at the university and to transition the alumni and development information systems from a “home-grown” mainframe system to a then state-of-the-art client server system, just to name a few.
Originally from the Port Allegheny area of Pennsylvania, Bennett is looking forward to coming home. “I’m excited to make a difference and contribute to the vision of Mercyhurst College,” she said. “I hope to be an active player during this exciting time in the college’s history.”
“Linda is a welcome addition to our administration,” Gamble said. “Her vast expertise not only in advancement and alumni relations, but also in information systems, will be an asset as we ramp up our efforts in these areas.”