By Caitlyn maltese
Elm Staff Writer
The advancement team at Washington College has recently gained a new leader. Vice President of College Advancement Gary Grant stepped down from his position last Friday, Feb. 6. James E. Duff stepped up to temporarily fill Grant’s position as special assistant to the president for advancement and alumni affairs.
Duff is the CEO and co-founder of a consulting firm called Interim1 which “provides provisional leadership to organizations in transition,” according to Washington College’s Interim President Jay Griswold.
For 14 years, Grant served as the treasurer and chief financial officer at the National Gallery of Art. He was a senior practice manager with Coopers & Lybrand and a managing director of finance for the National Rifle Association.
“He has a strong reputation for building strategic relations with boards and senior executives to effectively achieve organizational and financial targets,” said Griswold.
Though Grant is leaving WC in the middle of the fiscal year, he leaves it in capable hands and plans to remain as a consultant if any problems should arise.
“As we approach a change in both Board and presidential leadership, Gary is able to move onto the next step of his career with many successes to his credit and with minimal disruption to Washington College’s current fundraising efforts,” said Griswold in an email to the WC community.
Arriving at the midpoint of the current fiscal year, the Department of College Advancement has secured $16,707,504 in new gifts and pledges. That is almost 95 percent of their annual goal of $17.7 million. “We are going to blow that away,” said Grant.
Additionally, the Washington Fund stands at $676,825, compared to $551,739 last year. The money in the Washington Fund goes directly to the same place tuition does. The people in College Advancement are the unsung heroes.
“We are a pretty small but mighty college, and we have a big campaign goal that exceeds those of institutions that have as much as 10 times as many alumni,” said Grant.
“If it wasn’t for the Washington Fund, all of the tuition [rates] would have to be higher in order to cover that difference. I did the math, and it actually come out to be about a $1,000 per student that tuition would have to be raised to cover the Washington Fund. So thank goodness for all the alumni who support that each year. This year we are doing even better than ever before. We are already well above where we were last year,” he said.
“Gary leaves a strong legacy at Washington College,” said Griswold. “As Gary moves onto his next opportunity, his colleagues and the larger Washington College community are grateful for his steady hand and keen sense of humor.”
“I enjoy structuring a team, building a team, and I’ll probably be looking to do something similar at another institution,” said Grant. In the mean time, Grant plans on getting back into writing.
Grant wrote a couple books about fundraising for non-profit organizations using the Internet. In 2006, he co-authored a book with Gary M. Grobman called “Fundraising Online: Using the Internet to Raise Serious Money for Your Non-Profit Organization.”
Recently, Grobman contacted Grant and proposed that they update it. “The internet has actually changed a lot since 2006,” said Grant. “Surprisingly, he looked at the book and… a lot of the book is still valid, but we wanted to update it.”
“I’m so grateful for my wonderful team that are so dynamic and so energetic and so in love with Washington College. I have had a wonderful experience here and know that I will remain connected to Washington College forever,” he said.