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Ballard to lead alumni engagement

Susan BallardSusan Ballard has been named associate vice president for alumni engagement at Syracuse University. The appointment, effective February 22, follows a comprehensive national search and was made by Matthew Ter Molen, chief advancement officer and senior vice president of advancement and external affairs.

Ballard comes to the University from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she led a team of 10 donor relations and events officers. Her team provided strategic direction and oversight for all fundraising, cultivation, and stewardship events that benefit Cincinnati Children’s. Under Ballard’s leadership, the team designed and managed the implementation of an institution-wide comprehensive stewardship and donor relations engagement program that received national recognition by the Advisory Board Co.

Prior to joining Cincinnati Children’s, Ballard served as the first-ever major gifts officer for the College of Mount St. Joseph. Before the College of Mount St. Joseph, Ballard spent the majority of her career at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in increasingly prominent positions in events, alumni engagement, and development. Her tenure with BGSU included a variety of alumni and volunteer engagement activities. Through collaborative efforts, Ballard assisted with the creation of alumni engagement activities, including alumni events via chapters and societies, cultivation and stewardship receptions, homecoming gatherings, regional and national centennial celebrations, career mentorship and internship opportunities, and student-centered summer admission events. In addition, Ballard has substantial board management experience through her work with BGSU’s alumni board and foundation board, as well as Cincinnati Children’s foundation board.

“Syracuse University alumni are incredibly passionate about their alma mater and want to remain connected to our great campus and to each other,” Ter Molen says. “Under Sue’s leadership and in partnership with Syracuse University Alumni Association (SUAA) President Mark Verone, the Office of Alumni Engagement will ensure that all alumni know just how meaningful it is to be members of the SUAA. Sue will create and implement strategies that show our alumni that the value of a Syracuse University degree is everlasting.”

Ter Molen adds, “We are thrilled that Sue is joining us at Syracuse University. Her warm, engaging personality makes her perfectly suited to oversee a growing, energetic team in the Office of Alumni Engagement and to work closely with the SUAA board, club presidents, and 250,000 alumni who want to remain Forever Orange. Her unique blend of work experience in alumni engagement, volunteer management, event planning, and philanthropy positions her well for success.”

Ballard admires Syracuse University’s pride and culture and feels highly motivated to elevate the alumni engagement program. “I believe that relationship-centered alumni work should begin the moment a prospective student visits campus for the first time and continue long after graduation day, through every stage of a graduate’s journey. I look forward to creating a forward-thinking, premier alumni program that meets the goals of the Fast Forward initiative while fully engaging our alumni in the ways that matter most to them," she says.

Ballard adds, “What I’m looking forward to most is getting out from behind my desk and meeting as many alumni as I can. I want to listen to their memories, to hear about their love for all things Orange, and to learn firsthand what the Syracuse University experience meant to each of them.”

Ballard, a native of Rochester, N.Y., received a B.A. degree in political science from Hartwick College, where she was a two-time captain of the swim team and served as a representative on Hartwick’s Alumni Association board. Ballard earned her M.A. degree in college student personnel at Bowling Green State University. She and her husband, Troy, enjoy all outdoor activities, no matter the season, and are very excited to become part of the Orange family and settle in the Syracuse area.​