Bill Brower joined Geneseo as the vice president for college advancement on Sept. 13. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11
In his first weeks at Geneseo as vice president for college advancement, Bill Brower helped welcome more than a thousand parents and alumni during Parents Weekend and Homecoming.
He also gained insight from the college's dedicated volunteers from around the country, who gathered here for The Geneseo Foundation board meeting and the first meeting of the National Alumni Council to explore ideas to advance Geneseo.
Those three weekends helped him understand the appreciation people have for Geneseo and its importance in their lives.
"Geneseo is an incredibly special place," says Brower, who started Sept. 13. "I'm certainly trying to figure out all the ways that Geneseo is special, and I'm sure that I'll be continuing to do so. It's not one thing that you can point to. It's a lot of things together that make Geneseo unique."
As vice president, Brower directs the college advancement division and manages a team of 28 professionals in development, communications and alumni relations. He also oversees Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo, the college's $22 million fundraising effort.
He brings 24 years of development and capital campaign experience to Geneseo, the last 16 at his alma mater, Hamilton College.
At Hamilton, he most recently served for four years as executive director of major gifts, where he led the major gifts and advancement services operation. He had also served as executive director of annual giving and alumni relations and as associate director of planned giving during campaigns for the college that each raised more than $100 million.
Brower says he was attracted to Geneseo because of its well-deserved reputation for being an outstanding liberal arts college — and the opportunity students have to receive such an education at an affordable public institution.
In addition to other initiatives, Brower said it is important to increase alumni giving and the alumni participation rate, which is at 8.5 percent, and to boost unrestricted support for giving to The Fund For Geneseo.
"We'd really like to encourage people to make unrestricted gifts that the college can use where they are needed most," says Brower.
He is looking forward to meeting the campaign target of $22 million in 2013 and continuing to collaborate with college leaders to provide the best possible experience for students. In January, Career Services will launch a new job-shadowing program for students. More than 300 alumni and parents have volunteered to host students during winter break. The new program is one example of the special opportunities Geneseo offers students, he says.
"President Dahl talks about transformational education and transformational learning. The campaign is Shaping Lives of Purpose. I think that those are real things that happen on campus every day," says Brower. "They happen in classrooms, they happen in labs. They happen at athletic competitions and at practices. They happen on stages and in small music studios. They are happening everywhere and I think that kind of education Geneseo offers is rare and incredibly valuable ... It's real and all of that sends our young people out into the alumni family prepared to be leaders in their professions and in their communities."
• Learn more about Bill Brower.