Sarah Emerson named Vice President of Advancement at Oglethorpe University

Following a nationwide search, Oglethorpe University has named Sarah Emerson as the new Vice President of Advancement, effective April 15, 2024. Emerson will oversee the teams that lead fundraising, donor stewardship and alumni engagement initiatives.

Headshot of Sarah Emerson

Sarah Emerson

Emerson currently serves as Executive Director for Foundation Relations at Georgia State University where she has managed a portfolio of principal-gift level foundations and presidential relationships, serving as the lead fundraiser on more than $25M in philanthropic gifts since 2022. She previously held the Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Corporate & Foundation Relations position at Georgia State after three years at the Georgia Institute of Technology as Director of Foundation Relations and five years at the University of Georgia as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Emerson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Millsaps College (Jackson, Miss.), a private liberal arts institution similar in size and mission to Oglethorpe. She also has a master’s degree in education from the University of Georgia. She is active in the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers.

“Sarah Emerson is an ideal addition to Oglethorpe’s senior administrative leadership team as we work together to make Oglethorpe Atlanta’s premier undergraduate learning experience,” said Oglethorpe University President Kathryn McClymond. “Not only does Sarah bring extensive fundraising experience and success at higher education institutions in Georgia, she also knows first-hand the value of a liberal arts education.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside Oglethorpe’s outstanding faculty, staff, and students to grow the institution’s culture of philanthropy,” said Sarah Emerson. “I am energized by Dr. McClymond’s vision for the institution and her focus on the student experience. Now is an exciting time to help build the institution’s resources to realize its ambitious strategic plan.”

The search committee, led by Senior Vice President, CFO and COO Pete Stobie, included Dr. Allison Roessler, assistant professor of materials chemistry; Todd Brooks, director of athletics; Kathryn Henderson, director of alumni engagement and giving; Matt Huff, associate professor of theatre; Elizabeth Peterson Jennings, director of the OU Museum of Art; and Jazmin Rainey, associate director of philanthropic communications and special events.

In the announcement to the campus community, President McClymond also offered a special word of gratitude to Lance Wallace, vice president of marketing and communications, for taking on administrative responsibility for Advancement during the interim and serving with distinction.

“Lance has worked tirelessly on behalf of Oglethorpe this past year, reaching out to alumni and university friends to raise support for our mission,” wrote President McClymond. “On behalf of our entire university community, I want to convey my thanks. Moving forward, Lance will work closely with Sarah to ensure a smooth transition, continuing the strong momentum we are building in advancing Oglethorpe financially and reputationally.”

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