Culminating 24 highly successful years as the chief advancement officer for two major private research universities, Ron Vanden Dorpel retired as Senior Vice President for University Advancement at Brown University and joined WASHBURN & MCGOLDRICK, INC. in September 2010. Ron brings his experience and understanding of philanthropy, program management, campaign planning and strategy, principal gifts strategies, and international fund raising to our firm.
Ron’s leadership over eight years propelled the most successful fundraising period in Brown’s 246-year history. He planned and led Boldly Brown: Campaign for Academic Enrichment that succeeded in raising $1.614 billion, including two gifts of $100 million and 53 gifts of $5 million or more. Cash gifts increased by 86% and new gifts and pledges by 164%.
Despite the deepest recession in 70 years, Brown's campaign attained its $1.4 billion goal in 2009, 19 months ahead of schedule. During Ron's tenure, cash gifts to the Brown Annual Fund more than doubled and the number of alumni and parent donors grew by more than 70%.
At Northwestern as Vice President for University Development and Alumni Relations (1987-2002), Ron led the equally successful $1.56 billion CampaignNorthwestern, characterized by more than $1 billion in capital gifts (endowment plus facilities), the systematic acquisition of 59 gifts of $5 million or more, the revitalization of alumni annual giving, the building of a strong and focused development staff, and the enhancement of international fund raising.
Programs he led were awarded the CASE Circle of Excellence or CASE-Wealth Engine Award for Overall Improvement or Overall Performance five times. In 2009, Brown was the only private research university to receive the Overall Performance accolade.
Ron also served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Yale University (1983-1987) and at Brown (1980-1983) and Director of College Resources at Bryant College (1977-1980).
Ron earned his BA from The Ohio State University and studied early modern European history in the Ph.D. program at Brown. He served 22 years in the U.S. Air Force as an Intelligence Officer both as a regular officer and a ready reservist. He is a graduate of the Air Command & Staff College and the Air War College. He was mobilized as a lieutenant colonel during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm as chief of operational intelligence for the Strategic Air Command's 15th Air Force, and has been decorated five times for meritorious service. He retired from the Air Force in 1993.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Brown University Sports Foundation and as a trustee emeritus of the American University in Bulgaria.