Advancement update

Holly Kobia
Chief Advancement Officer

The 2017 fiscal year was an extraordinary fundraising period for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. A successful completion of the Beyond Boundaries’ Intelligent Infrastructure for Human Centered Communities’ campaign at $25 million added about $18 million in new gifts and commitments. During fiscal year 2017, more than $22 million was raised. This total includes our annual giving, which increased by a record 42 percent this year. There were 685 donors who gave $280,223 to the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and our four schools.

To align with the new Virginia Tech Advancement Team model, management of college development, alumni relations, and communications efforts were organized under the leadership of a Chief Advancement Officer. Three new employees joined the college advancement team, bringing the total group back to five full-time positions dedicated to alumni relations, development, and communications.

In March, we welcomed Justina Sumpter as Director of Alumni Relations. Her role is to engage alumni through creative programming that aligns with the strategic priorities of the college. Marya Barlow joined us as Communications Director in April to manage college communications and marketing, using a digital-first, advancement-focused strategy. Then in May, the college hired Rachael Estep as Assistant Director of Development for Leadership Gifts to focus on leadership giving, a philanthropic level that we expect to grow with time.

In the spring semester, the advancement team took time to gather thoughtful, important information from our alumni base and graduating students via online stakeholder surveys. The purpose of these surveys was to provide data necessary for more strategic, audience-centered advancement work and planning.

We launched our first college e-newsletter, CAUS+effect; refreshed our website homepage, visuals, and content; developed new marketing materials and media outreach; and significantly increased our presence and engagement on college social media channels.

Our most valued and vital function is the engagement of alumni, friends, donors, partners, students, faculty, staff, and community in a shared sense of pride and belonging at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. In the year ahead, we hope to introduce more new events, programs, opportunities, and venues for you to connect with our college.

We extend our thanks to everyone who made 2016-17 a landmark year for the college. Through your commitment and generosity, CAUS is able to create opportunities for student learning, research, scholarships, travel, internships, mentoring, and professional interaction, that otherwise would not be possible, and to advance our resources and renown as one of America’s best colleges of architecture and urban studies.

Please stay in touch and let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your engagement with CAUS even more meaningful.

Holly Kobia
Chief Advancement Officer

Justina Sumpter
Director of Alumni Relations

Marya Barlow
Director of Communications

Rachael Estep
Assistant Director of Development for Leadership Gifts