New VP for External Relations

20 February 2014

Dear Carleton faculty and staff:

It is with great enthusiasm that I share the news that Tommy Bonner, Vice President for Advancement at Macalester College, has accepted our offer to become Carleton’s next Vice President for External Relations.  Tommy is a star in the world of college fundraising and external affairs, and we are thrilled that he’ll be bringing his luster to Carleton.

Tommy is a proven leader and fundraiser who has compiled an impressive record of accomplishments across all levels of development and in a senior leadership role.  As Vice President for Advancement at Macalester since 2005, Tommy oversees all aspects of the alumni relations, communications, and fund raising programs, board development and engagement, and principal gift fund raising.

Tommy provided staff leadership for the $150 million Step Forward campaign at Macalester that concluded in December 2011.  The Step Forward campaign raised more than $156 million and funded the Leonard Center, Markim Hall, Music and Arts Commons, Alumni House renovation, over $30 million for faculty support, and $38 million for need-based financial aid.

Prior to joining Macalester, Tommy held various advancement positions over 14 years at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., including seven years as vice president.  At Sewanee he played a principal role in organizing capital campaigns with goals of $180 million and $107 million.  Sewanee’s annual fund doubled in gift income and achieved 50% alumni participation under his direction. He began his advancement career at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1983 as a chapter representative in the alumni association.

A native of Mississippi, Tommy is married to Debbie Kenyon Bonner and has two adult daughters. He will begin his position here in early April.

I want to offer my deepest thanks to members of the Vice Presidential Search Committee, led so ably by Elise Eslinger, and to Joe Hargis and Gayle McJunkin, for their exceptional service as interim co-Vice Presidents during the search.

I know all of you will join me in welcoming Tommy to Carleton in April.  We shall do important and lasting work together!

Steve Poskanzer

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