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Suzanne Murphy Named Vice President for Development and External Affairs


Suzanne Murphy

Suzanne Murphy, who led successful capital campaigns for Sarah Lawrence College and Marymount Manhattan College, has been named Vice President for Development and External Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University.

An alumna who believes in TC’s mission, she led major capital campaigns at Sarah Lawrence and Marymount Manhattan

Suzanne Murphy, who led successful capital campaigns for Sarah Lawrence College and Marymount Manhattan College, has been named Vice President for Development and External Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University.

A TC alumna and current doctoral candidate at the College, Murphy was chosen after a nationwide search for a permanent successor to Joseph Brosnan, who left in July. She will take up her new duties on February 1, 2008, replacing the interim Vice President, Judy Chadourne.  
“We are tremendously excited and pleased to be able to bring Suzanne Murphy to Teachers College to head the Development and External Affairs team,” said TC President Susan Fuhrman. “She is an accomplished and excellent fundraiser who has built highly successful institutional advancement functions in her previous positions, and who is known for her ability to work with and lead people. Suzanne also has a special connection with Teachers College and is passionate about our mission and work.”

Murphy called her appointment at TC “a dream job.

“Fundraising for me has to be an organic process – I have to believe in and care deeply about an institution’s goals to be able to raise funds to support them. Since I was a college student, looking for graduate schools, I’ve been reading about Teachers College, its mission, its vision and its broader involvement at the center of the national dialogue on providing education and educational access. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of that; to help influence education and education policy and facilitate the education of the next generation of education leadership; and to work with a leader of Susan Fuhrman’s intellect and sense of purpose, and with a Board of Trustees that is so knowledgeable and committed about education. It’s also gratifying to be able to build on the excellent work of the previous development leadership at the College.”

Teachers College has a current endowment of $220 million, the result in part of a capital campaign, concluded in 2002, that was at that time the largest ever conducted by a graduate school of education.

Murphy has served since November 2001 as Vice President, College Resources, at Sarah Lawrence. In that role she led a major capital campaign, exceeding the College’s initial target, and also created a substantial new base in planned giving that secured the College’s fundraising efforts for years to come. “It has been an exciting opportunity to capitalize on the natural synergies of the development, alumnae/i relations and communications efforts at Sarah Lawrence,” she said, “and it was an invigorating challenge to support an institution that prizes the intellectual journey of the individual.”   At Marymount Manhattan, where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and subsequently worked for 14 years, Murphy increased overall fundraising by more than 75 percent in all giving areas and led the institution’s first capital campaign, guiding it to completion a year ahead of schedule.

Beyond that track record, Murphy possesses broad experience in admissions and enrollment, and knows her way around the classroom as well. She began her career at Marymount Manhattan as an admissions counselor and ultimately became Dean of Enrollment Management before being named Vice President of External Affairs and Enrollment Services in 1997. Along the way, she also taught intensive summer courses in reading and writing to students in the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), created a similar program for economically disadvantaged children who did not meet HEOP poverty requirements, and coordinated Marymount Manhattan’s program in alcoholism and counseling.

It’s a resume, she says, that has allowed her to position and market an institution, sensitive to the nuances for each constituency.

“I believe in working to advance all the aspects of an institution’s agenda, and in creating the best and most integrated way we can present an institution such as TC to the wider public,” she said. “It’s important to know the work that’s being done and to be able to speak directly about it to professionals in different fields, whether they’re educators, psychologists, health professionals. It takes that kind of understanding to see the connections and paint a unified picture to the world.”

Murphy says that she has enjoyed precisely that kind of interconnectedness as a student at Teachers College, where she first gravitated toward organizational psychology and has since pursued an advanced degree in higher education.

“The faculty at TC really encourage you to do more than simply study your one specific area in a single way,” she said. “Even though I’m in higher education, I’ve taken courses through the College’s Klingenstein Center for Independent Schools, through its International Center for Conflict Resolution, and through its Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation. It’s been a very Deweyan process of shaping my own intellectual environment with the input of many, many wonderful people.”

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