‘Operation Advance’ Develops at Rochester
On his first day as president of the University, Joel Seligman announced that he had hired the first member of his leadership team, James Thompson, as senior vice president and chief advancement officer.
Thompson comes to Rochester from Washington University in St. Louis, where he built the capital and major gifts offices and was considered a key strategist for that university’s $1.55 billion capital campaign—the sixth-largest campaign in the history of higher education.
Thompson and his team of advancement professionals have implemented a series of new initiatives called “Operation Advance,” intended to help the University generate the financial support it needs to reach its goals and achieve new levels of excellence.
“There’s a growing sense of excitement on the advancement team about what we can do together to help this great University become even stronger,” Thompson says.
The advancement team has added several nationally respected professionals, including Andy Deubler, deputy vice president for University advancement, who was senior associate vice president and chief development officer at the Medical Center; Rob Gibson, senior associate vice president of advancement and executive director of academic relations, who joined the University from Washington University, where he had been senior director of development for Arts & Sciences; and Jim Conway, associate vice president for advancement services, who comes to the University after serving in similar roles at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and Harvard University.
Operation Advance also includes the renovation of a building near the River Campus that will serve as the advancement division’s headquarters. The facility will feature a new Alumni Center with attractive spaces for meetings and volunteer activities, opening in June 2007.