I write to share with you the news that Brian Lee, our Senior Vice President for University Advancement, will leave Tufts at the end of February to become Vice President for Development and Institute Relations at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena effective April 1. I know you join me in congratulating Brian on this wonderful opportunity.
Brian’s contributions to Tufts demonstrate that Caltech has chosen well. Most recently, his vision and strategic direction were critical to the successful planning and implementation of our Beyond Boundaries campaign, which had surpassed its $1.2-billion goal when it concluded this past summer. In preparation for the campaign, Brian reorganized and expanded University Advancement to knit together fundraising, alumni relations, advancement communications and advancement services. He also recruited and mentored an extraordinary team, while ensuring that academic priorities drove the division’s efforts.
Tufts’ worldwide community is stronger and more vibrant thanks to Brian. Over the course of his twenty-five years he has become a valued adviser to many members of our community. Jim Stern, the Chair of our Board of Trustees, said, “Brian made an enormous difference during his remarkable career here. He has been widely trusted and respected for his passionate belief in our students, our faculty and our staff. He reached out to alumni and donors around the world and made them proud to be part of the Tufts community. He has always had the university’s best interests at heart. Brian represents the very best of Tufts and we wish him all the success in his new adventure.”
The extraordinary success of University Advancement under Brian’s leadership has drawn wide recognition. In 2008, Brian was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the professional organization for advancement professionals in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing, and public relations. He is now serving on the executive committee of the CASE Board and as its Chairman Elect. In 2012, he received the Quarter Century Circle Award from CASE recognizing his 25 years of service for a non-profit organization. There could be no better reflection of the esteem in which he is held by his professional peers.
University Advancement is well positioned to build on its accomplishments under Brian’s leadership. As I consider long-term planning for divisional leadership, I have appointed our trusted and long-time Executive Director of Development, Eric Johnson, to assume the role of acting Vice President for University Advancement beginning in March. I will soon provide details on a celebratory reception to express our appreciation for Brian’s work here. In the meantime, please join me in thanking him for all he has done for Tufts.
Message from Brian Lee
My dear Tufts colleagues,
I write to you today about a decision I have made to accept the position of Vice President for Development and Institute Relations at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. After spending over twenty-five incredibly rewarding years at Tufts, the decision to leave was, as you might imagine, extremely difficult for me personally. But, the invitation to lead and shape the advancement operation of an institution such as Caltech represents a truly extraordinary professional opportunity. It also comes at a time when Christa and I find ourselves as new empty nesters, able to embrace a personal and professional change of this magnitude. In addition, Christa and I have family in the Pasadena area, so we are thrilled to have the chance to be close to them.
Although I am excited and energized about my new role, I will leave Tufts with a heavy heart. How could I not? For two-and-a-half decades, I have been privileged to work in a one-of-kind community doing what I love—connecting with active, engaged alumni worldwide and matching generous people who care about Tufts with phenomenal faculty and students who are changing the world. The warm relationships forged along the way have been precious to both Christa and me.
In 1986, I first arrived at Tufts’ Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine to begin work as a development officer, seeking philanthropic support for the School’s extraordinary programs and students, alongside the dean and faculty. Nine years passed with the blink of the eye, and I found myself in Medford/Somerville, promoting the excellence of all of Tufts’ schools to our alumni, parents, and friends. I had the pleasure to lead two successful campaigns and in doing so, another sixteen years passed quickly. Today, I feel deeply indebted and grateful to a community that welcomed and embraced me, and that taught me so much.
I will remain at Tufts through February, and will work with President Monaco, my fellow senior university officers, and my University Advancement management team to make this transition as smooth as possible. I look forward to opportunities to thank in person as many of you as possible for your collegiality, partnership and friendship during my time at Tufts.