Kimberly Verstandig officially joined Connecticut College as Vice President for College Advancement on Nov. 6. The experienced fundraising professional holds a B.A. in Business Administration and a M.S. in Education from Bucknell University. Verstandig recently departed from her role as interim Vice President for Advancement at Skidmore College, where her direction led to great success for the institution’s current fundraising campaign. Verstandig has over 20 years of experience in fundraising for college institutions as well as nonprofit organizations. Verstandig began her career at Bucknell University, where she spent seven years overseeing various programs within the Advancement Department. She went on to direct fundraising operations for the Albany Medical Center, and later the Albany Academies, before joining Skidmore College.
Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron released a statement praising Verstandig and detailing the responsibilities of her new role, noting that Verstandig’s responsibilities include “supervising the work of major gifts; gift planning; corporate, foundation, and government relations; alumni engagement and annual giving; strategic initiatives; donor relations; and advancement services.”
Vice President for Finance and Administration Rich Madonna, who chaired the search committee and played a key role in Verstandig’s appointment, described the committee’s role: “[A] committee of faculty, staff and trustees was formed to conduct a national search for a new Vice President for Advancement. The committee reviewed all candidates and conducted on campus full day interviews with [the] finalists.” Madonna went on to say, “Kim was the top candidate and we are thrilled to have her on board.”
In an interview with the Voice, Verstandig emphasized that she was a huge believer in the power of a liberal arts education, sharing that as a college student, she benefited from financial aid. This experience instilled in her respect and appreciation for the fundraising responsibilities of her role at Conn. When asked if she could share any future goals she had for the Office, Verstandig responded: “Although I can’t give any specifics yet, we are planning for the largest and most ambitious fundraising campaign in Conn’s history.” The Voice also learned about Ms. Verstandig’s busy schedule, which includes significant time spent for fundraising-related travel. She estimated that about half of her time will be spent meeting with alumni and parents throughout the country to build relationships. Verstandig’s travel is nationwide but will likely primarily include Boston, New York, California, the Midwest, and even Florida.
According to Verstandig, she accepted her new role at Connecticut College because of “the sense of community, size, and visionary strategic plan being implemented by President Bergeron.” She went on to praise the Connection’s Curriculum and speak to the role she sees it playing in shaping Conn’s future as a leader in the liberal arts. Verstandig concluded by saying: “I love what I do, I love working in higher education, because, corny as it sounds, there’s always a new beginning. The culture of discovering newness is something that truly sets working in higher education apart.”