Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

Located in beautiful Walla Walla in the midst of Washington's thriving wine country, Whitman College is recognized for providing its students with a superior liberal arts education and residential experience replete with high-impact practices. As a result, Whitman alumni and parents form a community that takes great ownership of, and is deeply committed to, the college and its future.


As the college moves from the development of its next strategic plan to preparation for a comprehensive campaign to support that plan's initiatives, it seeks a vice president for development and alumni relations to lead its advancement program to new levels of success.


Whitman is exceptionally well positioned for its next campaign effort. The college's most recent campaign, which ended in 2015, raised $167 million against its $150 million goal and was followed immediately by a capital fundraising effort that raised over $10 million in just 18 months to build a new residence hall and dining commons. The national consulting firm Bentz Whaley Flessner has completed a feasibility study for the next effort, and electronic screening of the college's database has surfaced a significant number of potential new prospects that require engagement. Many among the staff have served long tenures and have built lasting relationships both internally and externally. Succeeding a long-serving leader, the new VP will have the opportunity to build on this record of success by bringing fresh eyes and creative ideas to the program. Perhaps most importantly, Whitman enjoys strong and stable leadership at the board and executive level as it prepares to execute an ambitious strategic plan.


The new vice president will be dedicated to Whitman's mission and values and will in particular be a champion for the liberal arts. To optimize the success of the college, the new vice president will be an experienced leader of people and programs with a track record of success at the leadership level of one or more comprehensive campaigns. Demonstrating a history of creative and successful engagement of prospects at the principal and/or major gift level, the vice president will possess exceptionally strong communication and relationship-building skills. The VP will demonstrate at least seven years of increasingly responsible managerial and leadership experience, preferably in higher education or a similarly complex organizational environment, and a deep and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. As a member of the president's cabinet, an understanding of current trends in higher education in addition to that of best practices in advancement is required.


The Whitman College community stands poised to build upon a long and successful history of uniting in support of the college's aspirations. Its new vice president for development and alumni relations will play a central role in leading the college to a new era of attainment.


A full leadership profile is available at Inquiries, nominations, applications and requests for the complete Leadership Profile may be directed to the Witt/Kieffer consultants supporting this search: Dennis M. Barden and Melissa Fincher via email at For fullest consideration, application materials (including a letter of application and a curriculum vitae/resume) should be received by Aug. 1, 2019. Candidate confidentiality will be respected, and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates.


Whitman College is building a diverse academic community and welcomes nominations of and applications from women, members of historically underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities and others who would bring additional dimensions to the college's learning environment.