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Institutional Advancement Update and News

Dear Emerson Faculty and Staff,

I am writing to inform you about important details regarding our search for the next Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

Update on Search

The search committee has made considerable progress in the search for a new Vice President of Institutional Advancement. The committee members met last week and identified an initial pool of promising and highly qualified candidates. Interviews are scheduled to take place in July, and the committee is optimistic that the new Vice President may be identified before the start of the new academic year.

Interim Vice President

I am also pleased to let you know that Leigh Gaspar, Associate Vice President of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, has agreed to serve as Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement effective July 1, 2019, when Ron Korvas steps down from his role.

Since joining Emerson in February 2018, Leigh has charted an ambitious course to triple the number of alumni engaged with Emerson over the next three years, increase annual fund giving and participation totals, and elevate the value of lifelong engagement among the 40,000+ members of the alumni community. Leigh and her team have fostered impactful relationships with alumni stakeholders, including the Alumni Association Board of Directors.  This collaboration has resulted in the launch of eight new alumni chapters this past year as well as plans to launch an alumni podcast and Facebook live speaker series in FY20.

Additionally, under Leigh’s leadership, the annual giving team has exceeded its FY19 goal by 11% to date and will close the year strong.  The team has taken innovative steps toward building a stronger culture of philanthropy at Emerson, including the launch of the student Voice Your Choice program, which exceeded expectations in its first year.

I am confident that Leigh’s leadership, enthusiasm, and collaborative spirit will help ensure continuity of the division’s efforts as we move forward with the search for the new VP. She and I will work closely during this transition period.

Marketing and Communications

Emerson is fortunate to have an extraordinary group of talented professionals in the College’s Offices of Marketing and Communications. The writers, designers, web developers, digital experts, media specialists, and creative storytellers across the two teams have created outstanding, results-driven campaigns on behalf of the College, and they have made critical contributions to the elevated awareness of Emerson.

Given the transition within the division, there is an opportunity to bring the two areas together in closer alignment to better serve the College, and I have asked Sofiya Cabalquinto, Associate Vice President of Communications, to take on a new role that will lead the integration of the Marketing and Communications functions within the division of Institutional Advancement, effective immediately.

Since joining Emerson in April 2018, Sofiya has served as the College’s chief communications officer, providing strategic communications counsel, creative vision, and support. She and her team have made significant progress toward positioning Emerson as the premier college and global hub for the arts, communications, and the liberal arts, particularly by placing favorable media coverage for the College in major outlets.

Before coming to Emerson, Sofiya was the Senior Director of Communications for Wellesley College, where she successfully led multiple, integrated marketing and communications campaigns that increased awareness of the College’s brand nationally and internationally. Her work was credited as a major contributor to the steady rise in Wellesley’s reputation, which helped lead to record application numbers and a rise in national rankings.

Please join me in wishing Leigh and Sofiya well in their new roles.


Lee Pelton

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