Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Following a nationwide search, Ara Serjoie will join the College as Haverford’s next vice president of Institutional Advancement (VPIA). He will arrive on campus on Aug. 1 following a long career in mission-driven organizations and fundraising, most recently at North Carolina’s Guilford College, where he has been vice president of advancement since 2016.
“I have dedicated my career to serving the mission of institutions and organizations that resonate with my own values,” said Serjoie. “Education, especially a liberal arts education and the many opportunities that it affords individuals, are among some of my most prized commitments. The high degree of scholarship, intellectual rigor, emphasis on excellence, in tandem with the values-based approach at Haverford are among the reasons I am especially excited about joining the College as the next vice president for institutional advancement.”
“We are incredibly fortunate that Ara has chosen to join us at Haverford,” said President Wendy Raymond. “I look forward to learning from the wisdom he has accumulated from working across a variety of settings in support of education’s advancement. He takes joy in his work, and it shows! His intellectual engagement with the liberal arts, his love of getting to know students—and people in general—and the breadth of his professional and lived experiences make him ideally suited for this leadership opportunity.”
Serjoie, who lived in Tehran, West Berlin, and London before moving to the United States to pursue post-secondary education, earned his Ph.D. in higher education leadership and human resource studies at Colorado State University. He holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Utah with an emphasis in nonprofit leadership and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences from Utah State University.
As the VPIA at Haverford, he will lead a team that builds and sustains understanding, appreciation, and philanthropic support for the educational mission of the College by nurturing relationships with alumni, students and prospective students, parents, and other friends of the College. As a member of senior staff, he will be the chief strategist and advisor to the president on donor cultivation and stewardship and campaign infrastructure and execution, and will partner with the Board of Managers to enhance their roles in achieving College strategy.
“At this moment in history, this is an especially important matter, to educate and prepare the future leaders of our country and indeed the world,” said Serjoie. “I am delighted that I will be doing this work in partnership with tremendously competent colleagues in Institutional Advancement, as well as President Raymond and my colleagues on the senior staff, faculty and staff colleagues at Haverford, the leadership volunteers of the Board of Managers, Alumni Association, and affinity groups such as the Multicultural Alumni Action Group, and, of course, our remarkable students.”
At Guilford, Serjoie provided vision and strategic direction for fundraising, alumni and constituent relations, and advancement operations. Guilford’s fundraising increased each year since his arrival and hit a non-campaign-year record of $8.4 million in FY20, 280% more than the year before he arrived.
Prior to that role, he was vice president of university advancement at California State University East Bay, and president of the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation. He also served in leadership positions at Clark College Foundation, the Girl Scouts of Utah, the University of Utah, and Weber State University. He has been involved with several campaigns both in a conceptualization and leadership capacity and as a member of the greater advancement team.
“My family is very excited about becoming Haverfordians and being active participants in the life of the College, on and off campus,” he said. “I look forward to joining you all soon, meeting you, learning your stories, and being a champion alongside you for the future of the College to thrive and triumph in service to many generations of students yet to become Fords.”
Serjoie succeeds Acting VPIA Deb Strecker, who will return to her role as assistant vice president of individual giving, and former VPIA Ann Figueredo ’84, who served the College for more than a decade including through the record-setting Lives That Speak fundraising campaign.
“Ara will lead a team of outstanding Institutional Advancement colleagues at a propitious time for Haverford,” said Raymond, “as our community develops a strategic plan that will undergird an energizing capital campaign—all in service of assisting us in reaching our shared aspirations.”