Lori Rava Dennison, a 1987 Hamilton College graduate with three decades of experience in fundraising, volunteer management and donor relations at her alma mater, has been named Hamilton’s vice president for advancement following a national search.
Dennison served most recently as Hamilton’s interim vice president for communications and development. She will report to President David Wippman and serve as a member of the College’s senior staff. In addition to managing all aspects of the College’s fundraising efforts, she will oversee Hamilton’s alumni and parent relations programs, the career center and the communications office.
“During her 30 years at Hamilton, Lori Dennison has been successful in a variety of roles that advance the College’s mission and priorities,” said Wippman. “She has earned this opportunity to serve her alma mater in this important role, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to strengthen Hamilton even further.”
“I never left Hamilton because I believe so deeply in this College, and I enjoy working with alumni, parents, and my faculty and staff colleagues to make Hamilton the best liberal arts college in the country,” Dennison said. “As an alumna and the parent of a Hamilton graduate, I am fully invested in what this College does for students.”
A native of nearby Rome, N.Y., and the first in her family to attend college, Dennison began working in the Communications and Development Office (now the Advancement Office) in 1987 as the assistant director of GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) programs. She was promoted frequently, assuming responsibility for the Annual Fund and GOLD Group programs from 1992 to 1997, during which time she identified and managed a plan to double unrestricted giving to the College over a three-year period. As director of major gifts from 1997 to 2006, a period that spanned two capital campaigns, she helped secure $300 million in new contributions to Hamilton.
Dennison also served as director of campaign operations and principal gifts from 2006 to 2009 and executive director of leadership gifts from 2009 to 2011. She took on new responsibilities in 2011 when, in addition to serving as principal gifts officer, she became executive director in the President’s Office, where she served as secretary to the Board of Trustees and worked closely with the president and senior staff to manage the day-to-day operations of the College.
Dennison and her husband, Jim, a 1986 Hamilton graduate, live in Clinton and are the parents of three children. Her appointment is effective immediately.