President Elizabeth Bradley announced on Friday that Cathy Baer, Vice President for the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development (OAAD), will retire from her position at the end of the current academic year in June.
“[Cathy’s] contributions to Vassar over nearly two decades have been exceptional,” Bradley noted. “In that time, Cathy built and led an outstanding organization deeply committed to the mission of the college, secured the resources needed to fulfill that mission, and tirelessly engaged the extended family of Vassar alumnae/i, parents, and supporters. Vassar has benefited enormously from Cathy’s warmth, creativity, and energy in promoting the College.”
Foremost among the highlights of Baer’s long service to Vassar is the highly successful Vassar 150: World Changing comprehensive capital campaign, which concluded in 2013. The campaign, which overlapped with Vassar’s sesquicentennial celebration, set an ambitious goal of raising $400 million for the college’s top priorities, including increased financial aid and the building of the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences.
“Even in the midst of a worldwide economic downturn, Cathy and her team including trustees, staff, and volunteers exceeded that benchmark by raising more than $431 million,” said President Bradley. “However, that tells only part of the story. In the time she has led the college’s development efforts, the college has received $733 million in gifts, including $260 million in support of the endowment and $156 million for capital building and renovation projects.”
In addition to her successful fund-raising, Baer was instrumental in creating the OAAD itself in 2010, successfully bringing together the mutually supportive efforts of the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College (AAVC) and the College’s Development Office.
In conclusion, President Bradley said, “Cathy Baer’s service to Vassar is measured in millions—millions of miles traveled, millions of dollars raised, millions of pieces of correspondence making the case for our college, and millions of positive interactions throughout the entire Vassar community. She has served two previous presidents and has been central to transitioning me to Vassar. I am forever grateful to her and look forward to continuing our partnership over the coming months.”