Alumni Programs Win Prestigious Awards

News subtitle

Winning work highlights innovation and leadership, volunteer empowerment, and fundraising.

Baker Tower
(Photo by Robert Gill)

Four awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recognize the College’s work in four categories: diversity and talent management, special events, fundraising, and digital engagement. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education fosters educational advancement and education to transform lives and society.

The international CASE Circle of Excellence Awards annually recognize outstanding work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing to advance the educational mission. This year’s work by the Advancement organization is a timely reflection on an unprecedented year of pandemic, and the related challenges of engagement, advancing racial equity, and fundraising campaigns—all in a digital context.

“This year’s CASE Circle of Excellence Awards highlight the creative, nimble, and innovative approaches our members bring to championing the success of their institutions,” said CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham. “The awards celebrate the work that has contributed to that vital societal outcome.”

Empowering Women and Marginalized Groups in Advancement

In the diversity and talent management category, the Amplify Women and Gender Initiative, led by Alexis Kanda-Olmstead, director of Advancement talent management at Dartmouth, won top Grand Gold honors. The eight-week program, a collaboration with Boston University, is focused on individual, leadership, and organizational capacity-building. More than 100 women from 13 CASE-member institutions participated in the inaugural program.

CASE judges said of the initiative: “Dartmouth College has thoughtfully created an innovative and robust program that centers women and other marginalized groups as leaders in ending systemic sexism and racism within the advancement profession. With a clear a vision for the future… this program serves as a road map for much-needed industry-wide change.”

Connecting Volunteers Across the World

The Call to Lead Campaign 2020 Retreat received a Gold award in the special events category for the two-day online training conference for 150 top campaign volunteers, who joined from locations around the world.

CASE judges praised the idea of “fostering volunteer-to-volunteer connections” through alumni-led workshops, interactive sessions, and virtual lounges for conversation and networking.

Alumnae-Led Campaign Will Fund Dartmouth Hall Renovation

Dartmouth alumnae’s successful grassroots campaign to raise $25 million for the renovation of historic Dartmouth Hall garnered a Bronze award in the fundraising category.

“The success of Dartmouth’s campaign to renovate Dartmouth Hall was essential in engaging female donors and philanthropists,” said CASE judges. “We especially like the creativity in how the campaign was launched during the Women’s Leadership Summit.”

An Election Podcast Gets the Vote

CASE judges were impressed with the quality lineup of featured alumni guests for The Ballot, A Dartmouth Podcast, who, over eight episodes, explored themes related to the 2020 presidential election and transition. The podcast, produced by the Alumni Lifelong Learning team, received a Bronze award in the digital communications category. The judges also cited the relevance of these discussions to an audience that extended beyond Dartmouth.

New Hampshire’s early voting status consistently offers Dartmouth students a front-row seat to political campaigns and frequent encounters with the candidates. The podcast offered the same to a digital audience as faculty and alumni guests included political campaign staffers, media personalities, and former and sitting members of Congress.

Producers of the podcast said the project was created on a shoestring budget and with a “learn as you go” approach—and the outcomes exceeded their goals.

Dartmouth has been recognized with a Grand Gold award three years in a row, plus an additional 14 awards in that same period. Recent awards have recognized national leadership in women’s philanthropy and the statement introducing The Call to Lead campaign.

Bob Lasher ’88, senior vice president for Dartmouth Advancement, said, “Recognition by our global peers affirms that Dartmouth’s alumni programs continue to set the standard in higher education, emphasizing our core values of community and life-long learning. It also points to the importance of alumni volunteerism in sparking the innovations that propel Dartmouth forward in service to our mission.”

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