Emerson College President Lee Pelton announced today that Jeffrey Schoenherr has been named Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. Currently Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Harvard Law School, Schoenherr will begin his Emerson career on May 21, 2012.
“Jeff brings to Emerson more than 20 years of fundraising and alumni relations experience earned at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Michigan,” Pelton said. “We are very pleased to have recruited a professional of Jeff’s caliber, energy, and proven management ability,” he added.
Before joining Harvard Law School, Schoenherr had previously held a variety of senior positions in university advancement at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Michigan. At Harvard Law, he oversees all aspects of alumni relations, the annual fund, major gifts, and gift planning, leading a staff of 25 professionals who raise more than $35 million each year. At Johns Hopkins, Schoenherr managed a team responsible for regional and international major gifts who were engaged in the $3.74 billion Knowledge for the World Campaign. Among other responsibilities, his team hosted events for more than 3,200 donors that yielded 322 gifts totaling $50 million.
At Emerson, Schoenherr’s initial task will be to bring the very latest best practices in alumni and donor relations to the College and to develop a strategic plan that in time will lead to Emerson’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign.
“Jeff will lead his team in creating new opportunities and programs that will fully engage our alumni, parents, and friends in the vibrant, creative bustle that we all recognize as Emerson College,” Pelton said.
“The opportunity to help grow the philanthropic culture at Emerson College and to be a member of President Pelton’s team is truly an honor,” said Schoenherr. “Lee’s vision and commitment is inspiring and I look forward to working with him, the faculty, the staff, and Emerson’s alumni and friends to advance the College’s mission.”
A resident of Natick, Massachusetts, Schoenherr holds a BA in political science from the University of Michigan and five advanced certificates in fundraising and management from Johns Hopkins University. He is a columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education and has been deeply involved in community service, including serving on such boards as the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Summer Festival, University of Michigan Admissions Recruitment Board, the United Way of Central Maryland, the Village Learning Place (Baltimore, Maryland) and the Johns Hopkins President’s Task Force on Climate Change. He is married and has two children.
Pelton thanked Barbara Rutberg ’68 for serving as the interim vice president for Development and Alumni Relations during the past year. He also thanked the Development and Alumni Relations team for hard work and dedication during a period of transition.
Pelton also recognized the search committee, which in addition to himself, included the following Emerson alumni leaders, faculty, and staff: Ted Cutler, Marillyn Zacharis, Michael MacWade, Cristina Kotz Cornejo, Paul Niwa, Linda Moore, Roy Nagy, Barbara Rutberg, Rob Orchard, and Andy Tiedemann. The search committee was staffed by Monique Thorne.
Photo by Aja Neahring '13