Carol Packard Named Lehigh’s New Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

Packard joins Lehigh following a comprehensive national search, succeeding Joseph Buck.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

Carol Packard

Carol Packard, the Associate Vice President for Colleges and Units at Cornell University, has been named Lehigh’s next vice president for development and alumni relations. She will officially begin her tenure April 15.

Packard brings to Lehigh more than 20 years of private sector and higher education experience with demonstrated expertise in strategic business and relationship development, and higher education marketing and communications.

Packard’s expertise includes shaping three separate billion-dollar-plus campaigns in the higher education market sector at Tier 1 research institutions. She has had in-depth training in growing programs that recognize the essential role that women and other underrepresented populations play in today’s philanthropy.

President Joseph J. Helble ’82 said: “Carol is a creative and strategic leader with deep experience in both higher education and the private sector. She is innovative, smart, dynamic, data-driven, a ‘doer,’ and has demonstrated an impressive ability to build support for a wide range of areas across a university. Perhaps most importantly, she impressed me as a collaborative and motivational leader who has been extremely successful as both an individual fundraiser and as someone who has inspired and led teams to new levels of success. Her approach is core to her ability to drive effective philanthropic investment strategies, and what sets her apart is her genuine passion for philanthropy, grounded in personal experience. She holds a deep appreciation of the profound impact it has on students, faculty and staff who benefit from the support of our communities. She is unquestionably the right person to spearhead the university’s ongoing success in securing support for Go Beyond: The Campaign for Future Makers, and to provide thoughtful, effective, and strategic leadership in support of Lehigh’s goals.”

Packard’s selection followed a comprehensive and competitive process.

Helble expressed gratitude to the search committee, with a special acknowledgment for interim vice presidents Mark Erickson and Bill Bole for their dedicated service. The search committee included: Chris Cook, Vice President, Office of Strategic Planning and Initiatives; Georgette Chapman Phillips, Kevin L. and Lisa A. Clayton Dean, College of Business; Joe Sterrett, Director of Athletics and Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics; and Melissa Blomkvist, Executive Secretary, Office of the President, who provided support to the search committee.

“Carol brought a lot of energy to her interviews, along with a high level of thoughtfulness about Lehigh’s strategic plan, and she conveyed a strong sense of personal alignment with a number of the initiatives already underway at Lehigh,” said Sterrett. “She has deep convictions about the value of higher education and has demonstrated throughout her career her commitment to honest communication, relationship building and teamwork in supporting institutional priorities."

Phillips added: “Carol brings an impressive record of successful development experience. That experience combined with her understanding of where Lehigh wants to go is a magnificent match. She impressed the committee not only with her innovative ideas for the future of Development and Alumni Relations but also with her engaging personality and quick wit.”

Prior to Packard joining the Cornell University leadership team in October 2021, she served as the associate dean for Alumni Affairs and Development in the College of Engineering at Cornell.

Before joining Cornell in 2017, Packard spent almost a decade at Penn State University, first as an individual contributor in the College of Liberal Arts, followed by a leadership role in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Cook said: “Carol demonstrated a commitment to data-informed decision making and a track record of strong relationship building in her approach to development and alumni relations. Her enthusiasm for the work and deep knowledge of philanthropy in higher education make her a great match for this opportunity.”

In the private sector, Packard served as the Director of Business Development at Snavely Associates, LTD. She also held various positions at AccuWeather Inc, where she managed an international sales territory, developed and executed international market strategies, and achieved 110% of financial expectations each year through impactful negotiations at the C-suite executive level with major global media companies.

Packard earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the College of Liberal Arts and graduated as a Schreyer Honors scholar from Penn State, from which she also holds a master’s degree in higher education administration.

Reflecting on coming to Lehigh, Packard said: “I am incredibly honored to serve as the next vice president of Development and Alumni Relations at Lehigh University. It is exciting to join President Helble’s leadership team at this extraordinary time and I am eager to contribute to the success of the GO Beyond campaign while also Inspiring the Future Makers of tomorrow. I hope to positively enhance the university’s legacy of excellence and am looking forward to engaging with Lehigh’s remarkable community to make it new, make a difference, and to do so together.”

Story by

Carina Sitkus

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