VP for External Relations Tommy Bonner to step down June 30

18 May 2023

To the Carleton Community,

I write to share the news that Vice President for External Relations Tommy Bonner will step down on June 30 after nine successful years at Carleton. As Carleton’s leader for Development, the Alumni Annual Fund, Alumni Relations, the Grants Office, and until this year, Communications, Tommy has made a significant impact on the college during his time here. 

Tommy’s most notable accomplishment is undoubtedly the Every Carl for Carleton campaign, which, under his leadership, stretched well beyond its original $400M goal to raise over $491M in support of admissions and financial aid, the academic program, preparing students for life after graduation, and bolstering the annual fund. The six-year campaign was the most ambitious in Carleton’s history and garnered the support of nearly 23,000 individual donors and engaged over 5,200 volunteers. 

Among Tommy’s many other meaningful contributions to Carleton, he was also a member of the steering committee that developed the Community Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity that was approved in 2022. Tommy has served in other important leadership roles, including providing staff direction to the Board of Trustees through its Trustee Affairs, External Relations and Development, and Campaign committees. A member of the President’s Cabinet, he has also played a role on management committees for areas related to capital planning, technology planning, and budget allocations. 

When Tommy departs at the end of June, leadership of the Division of External Relations will pass to the capable hands of Dan Rustad, current associate vice president for development, who has agreed to step in as interim vice president while we conduct a national search for a permanent vice president of external relations. Dan joined Carleton in 2002 and in 2015 assumed responsibility for major and planned giving, development operations, and the 25th and 50th milestone reunion programs. I am very grateful to Dan for agreeing to serve in this new capacity.

Please join me in thanking Tommy Bonner for his many contributions to Carleton and his commitment to building support for Carleton’s liberal arts mission. I personally feel very fortunate to have benefited from Tommy’s experience at the start of my own time at Carleton, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

—Alison Byerly

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