Clark University has opened a new chapter in both fundraising and alumni relations with the hiring of Jonathan Kappel ’81 as director of campaign advancement and Lindsay Allen as director of alumni and friends engagement.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Lindsay and Jonathan have taken on these key roles on Clark’s advancement team,” says Ed Ottensmeyer, interim vice-president for university advancement. “Each brings impressive experience, high energy and fresh insights that will help us connect with our friends and alumni in new and compelling ways. I know that everyone in the Clark community will enjoy working with them in the years ahead.”
When Kappel was approached by Clark University President David Angel to become the director of campaign advancement, he said to his wife, “I’m going home.”
Kappel is a Clarkie through and through. As a student he ran the campus game room (back in the pinball days), worked in admissions and was a member of Student Alumni Development (now the Student Alumni Relations Committee). As an alumnus, he served as president of the Alumni Association before returning to oversee the Clark Fund and then work as director of development. He went on to a fundraising career with various Jewish organizations including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.
Kappel is at home on campus, where his former government professor, Sharon Krefetz, is still teaching. (“Was I the best student? No. But she still remembers me,” he laughs.) He’s now looking forward to helming a robust campaign that will perpetuate and strengthen Clark’s standing as a leader in liberal education.
“The story needs to be told to alumni that Clark University is doing great things all over the world,” he says. “This is a global institution.”
Kappel, a former scholarship student who is married to a fellow Clarkie, Carol Bolton Kappel ’85, recalls that Clark gave him the opportunity to “grow and excel.” He’s now working to ensure that future students are granted the same opportunity.
“A lot of people got their beginning here,” he says of Clark’s impressive array of alumni. “And a lot of them, like me, were able to attend Clark because of someone else’s generosity.”
Kappel notes that alumni give to Clark for many reasons: to fund student scholarships, to support faculty research, to keep the institution strong for future generations. His own motivation in helping lead those efforts is clear and unequivocal: “I’m a big believer in this place.”
Lindsay Allen boasts a deep history in the areas of alumni relations and annual giving. At her alma mater, the University of Utah, she held a number of posts, ranging from manager of marketing and public relations at the David Eccles School of Business to director of alumni relations. She then worked at Boston College as associate director of annual giving for the BC Law School and most recently as director of annual giving, marketing and participation.
Since arriving at Clark in late August, Allen has been creating and executing an engagement strategy for alumni, families and friends to cultivate the support that is critical to fueling the University’s ambitious educational goals. She has immersed herself in all things Clark, meeting many alumni and absorbing the University’s history and ethos.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know Clark alumni and listening to their stories — how they were involved as students — and learning more about how they would like to engage with the University now, whether they graduated five or fifty years ago,” she says. “Each story is unique to every Clarkie, but the underlying theme is how Clark has had such a profound impact in their lives. The passion that Clarkies feel for the institution is palpable and inspiring.”
Expanding and deepening alumni engagement is crucial to the Clark mission, Allen says. She’s looking forward to involving more alumni and families in the everyday life on campus, connecting them with the Clark community “whether they are local or live thousands of miles away.
“There is so much we can accomplish together, and alumni, families and friends, with their talents, expertise and financial support, are a critical component in achieving the University’s goals.”