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Vassar Wins Prestigious CASE AwardsOAAD Cited for Alumnae/i Engagement, Overall Performance

An international education organization has officially recognized Vassar College for its outstanding fundraising and alumnae/i relations programs. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) named Vassar as a recipient of a 2019 Educational Fundraising Award in the Overall Performance category. Vassar also won a Circle of Excellence Award gold medal for its Sophomore Career Connections event. The awards were announced this week by CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham.

Vassar alumna Darys Estrella ’92 mentors sophomores about how to pursue career opportunities at Sophomore Career Connections in January 2019.Photo: Karl Rabe

The Educational Fundraising Award was based on judges’ analysis of three years of Vassar’s fundraising data the college submitted to CASE’s Voluntary Support of Education Survey. “CASE’s Educational Fundraising Awards recognize exemplary fundraising programs and activities,” Cunningham said in a letter to Timothy Kane, Vice President for Alumnae/i Affairs and Development. “Your institution has not only demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism and best practice in its fundraising efforts, it has contributed to the betterment of educational advancement worldwide by serving as a model to which others can aspire.”

Founded in 1974, CASE provides standards and an ethical framework for fundraising at more than 3,600 colleges and universities, private primary and secondary schools, and nonprofit education organizations in 82 countries, promoting the importance of education worldwide. 

Vassar received the Circle of Excellence Award in the Alumnae/i Relations category in recognition of its annual event, “Sophomore Career Connections: Linking the Liberal Arts to the World of Work.” The event brings alumnae/i to the campus for one weekend every year to speak with sophomores about their careers and to discuss possible internships and future employment. More than 230 students and 90 alumnae/i mentors attended this year’s event.

Cunningham said Vassar’s Circle of Excellence Award “helps inspire others by showcasing creative and innovative work. Your award-winning work contributes, therefore, to the betterment of the education advancement profession worldwide.”

Kane credited the staffs of the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development (OAAD) and the Career Development Office, as well as alumnae/i and parents, for making the annual Sophomore Career Connections event a success. Kane cited Carol Ostrow ’77 P’09 ’15 and her husband, Michael Graff, for their leadership and ongoing support of Sophomore Career Connections. “The gold medal recognizing this program is welcome recognition for the enormous strides the college made over the past five years to create inclusive and meaningful volunteer opportunities for our alumnae/i and parents in helping our students prepare for their lives after Vassar,” Kane said.

He lauded the staff and volunteers at OAAD and others “across the college whose combined efforts helped us to achieve an Educational Fundraising Award for Overall Performance for our program growth over the three most recent fiscal years.”