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Pomona College Appoints Pamela Besnard Vice President for Advancement

Pamela Besnard

Pomona College has appointed Pamela Besnard, currently vice president for development and alumni relations at The New School in New York City, as its new vice president for advancement.

At Pomona, Besnard will oversee the College’s fundraising operations as well as outreach programs for alumni, parents and other constituents. Among her responsibilities will be the successful completion of the College’s $250 million Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds and overseeing a team of nearly 50 professionals and support staff. As a member of the College’s executive staff, she will also play a leading role on the full range of issues that affect the life of the College. She will begin her new position on Aug. 5.

“This is a very important appointment for the future of Pomona College,” said President David Oxtoby, “Throughout her advancement career, Pam’s focus has been on building strong relationships between institutions and the people who care about them. She has a passion for the liberal arts, and as a leader, she has shown a remarkable capacity to build effective teams and to inspire the people with whom she works. I look forward to working with her to bring Pomona’s Daring Minds campaign to a successful conclusion and to keep this college at the forefront of American higher education.”

Besnard graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., and established a successful career in publishing, working in advertising and management at such publications as Money Magazine and Newsweek before returning to her alma mater to begin a new career in advancement. Rising to director of major gifts at Williams College, she managed a development team that played a key role in completing a campaign that outstripped its own goal of $400 million by a wide margin, securing gifts and pledges totaling more than $500 million. After accepting the position of vice president for development and alumni relations at The New School—a private university in New York City comprising seven schools specializing in the arts, design, humanities and social sciences—she led a reorganization of the development operation to increase productivity and more closely align fundraising efforts with the strategic mission of the university.

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead Pomona’s dedicated advancement team,” Besnard said, “most immediately in successfully completing the Daring Minds campaign and working with the entire Pomona College community to ensure that a diverse student population continues to benefit from an exceptional educational experience.”

Pomona has a storied history of fundraising, starting with the Pomona Plan, one of the very first broad efforts to market life income gifts to a broad audience. The College launched Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds in 2010 and has raised more than $180 million of its $250 million goal with more than two years remaining. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that talented, venturesome students will always be able to afford a Pomona education and that Pomona College will be able to provide them with a learning environment even stronger in the creative and experiential opportunities that play a role in making our graduates leaders in their fields.

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