SUNY Geneseo President Denise A. Battles is pleased to announce that Ellen Leverich ’90 has been named vice president for college advancement and executive director of the Geneseo Foundation. Her appointment, effective February 20, concludes a five-month national search for the key executive position at the College.
Leverich will lead the college advancement division and manage a team of 19 professionals engaged in development and alumni relations. She brings nearly 30 years of experience in higher education and non-profit philanthropy, most recently at the Bloomsburg University Foundation in Bloomsburg, PA, where she has served as associate vice president for development for two years.
“I’m delighted that Ellen is returning to her alma mater to lead this vitally important function of the College,” said Battles. “Her distinguished record of accomplishments in advancement will benefit our students, faculty, and staff along with other college stakeholders as we foster Geneseo’s continued success.”
During her tenure at the Bloomsburg University Foundation, the development team grew the school’s annual philanthropy by 69 percent, raising more than $10 million in the last fiscal year. In addition, she developed the strategy for Bloomsburg University's next capital campaign and the cultivation of a 73,000 alumni base. She oversaw all components of the development operation, including principal gifts, major gifts, planned giving, and direct response marketing and communications.
Prior to Bloomsburg, Leverich worked for 17 years as director of development at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy in Richmond, VA. In addition to other responsibilities there, she increased leadership gifts by 95 percent and helmed the strategy, direction, and success of a six-year capital campaign. She also spent seven years in major gift development and campaign direction at the United Way of Roanoke Valley in Roanoke, VA.
Leverich recently completed the Leadership Central Penn program in Bloomsburg, PA, and the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently serves as vice president of Richmond’s Foundation for Family and Community Healing, and she was a certified court-appointed special advocate in Richmond from 2014 through 2018.
"It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater as vice president for college advancement,” said Leverich. “My experience as a student at Geneseo contributed hugely to who I am, and I am excited to play a role in supporting students on campus today."
Leverich’s appointment received praise from Geneseo Foundation Board Chair John Gleason.
"On behalf of the Geneseo Foundation Board, I welcome Ellen to campus," said Gleason. "It's not surprising that as a Geneseo graduate she brings strong leadership credentials to the position and a personal understanding of what makes Geneseo such a unique experience. I’m quite confident our alumni and other stakeholders will rally to support her in building an endowment that supports our college and its students well into the future."
Chairing the search committee was Mary Ellen Zuckerman, dean of the college’s School of Business.
“Ellen rose to the top of an exceptionally strong pool of candidates,” said Zuckerman. “Her breadth of experience in advancement positions will make her an outstanding addition to Geneseo’s leadership team. As an alum of Geneseo, she demonstrated a clear understanding of the mission of a public liberal arts college with selected professional programs.”
President Battles thanked Zuckerman and other members of the search committee for their commitment.
“My sincere thanks to Dean Zuckerman and her fellow committee members for their diligence in bringing this search to a successful conclusion,” said Battles.
She also praised the service provided by Roxanne Johnson, who is currently serving as interim vice president of college advancement.