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Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Dear York College Community,

I am pleased to announce that after a comprehensive search process, Kathryn J. Cousins has been selected as the next Vice President of Advancement & Communications at York College. She is thrilled to return to CUNY, particularly on such a vibrant campus as York’s, in order to enhance the total student experience, from admission through graduation.

Kathryn is currently the Chief Development Officer for the Norwalk Community College Foundation, where she focused on the role the campus had in addressing pressing issues in the local community and beyond. In her role as CDO for the NCC Foundation, Kathryn worked in partnership with the President and CEO of the NCCF to provide leadership, direction and coordination for all fundraising and marketing strategies and activities that enable the foundation to support NCC students and faculty.

Prior to that appointment, she worked for Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, where she was Chief Development Officer, overseeing Development and Marketing and Communications. In addition, she was the Executive Director of Development and Alumni Engagement at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and held various roles with the University of Saskatchewan, including that of Director of Major Gifts and College Campaigns, where she managed major gift programs in 13 colleges and 3 professional schools and lead a team that was charged with raising roughly $25 million annually.  Prior to the University of Saskatchewan, Kathryn was the Chief Development Officer for Junior Achievement of South Florida and the Chief Development and Communications Officer of the American Red Cross of Broward County.

Kathryn has raised and stewarded over $200 million during her 25+ year career in development and marketing, including overseeing record growth in revenue and alumni engagement in institutions of higher education. She is recognized as an expert in development strategy and major gifts programs, and is highly regarded as a leader and mentor. She has taught seminars on ethics in fundraising, major gifts, capital campaigns, special events, change management, board development, and leadership. Kathryn received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, Canada, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), holding that designation since 2006.

I want to take a minute to acknowledge the foundational work and record crushing fundraising efforts under the leadership of Dana Trimboli, Interim Vice President since February 2020.

There was significant housekeeping that needed to take place to get us to today’s hiring. We undertook review of scholarships and endowment accounts for process, accounting, and creating increased accountability.  Our Board is in a different place: we successfully onboarded 13 new board members who bring diversity, talent, and commitment to our mission; we improved practices on board recruitment, nominations, and committee structure; implemented a board portal that allows the directors, advisory Committees, and administrators to securely organize, share board documents, and collaborate electronically on sensitive information. We collaborated with a foundation attorney to review and revise board governance documents, including bylaws.

Day of Giving traditionally raised $25k in prior years, but in 2020 we raised $80,781.20 & $137,820 in 2021. When COVID hit, the team raised over $50k and quickly distributed those funds to students impacted by the crisis, Petrie funded technology so our health professions students could meet their requirements and despite Covid, our “Virtual Mosaic” (2021) raised $236,317 thanks to the commitment of our friends from Broadway. This year, our TWA Gala raised close to $250K thanks to the generosity of many!

Working collaboratively across divisions, we have raised the bar on promoting York on the web, marketing efforts, and social media through stories, videos, photography and graphics.

I want to thank the members of the search Committee: Dana Trimboli (Chair) , Cedric Dew (YMCA), Sheridan Abraham (Faculty), Chris Hsu (Foundation Board), Sumaiah Ali (Student), and Farley Mawyer (Faculty), as well as the leadership teams, and campus community for participating in the on-site visit. With your feedback, I was able to come to this decision. Please join me in welcoming Vice President Cousins to campus this summer. While there is still much work to be done, the Advancement and Communications team has much to be proud of and I know, under Kathryn’s leadership, only better news is to follow!

Berenecea Johnson Eanes, President

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