Lissy Garrison has been named the new vice chancellor for advancement at UNCSA, effective Jan. 10, 2022, Chancellor Brian Cole has announced. Garrison brings a wide range of experience in fundraising and arts leadership, including 11 years in higher education development, most recently at the University of Denver and the College of Music at University of Colorado Boulder, and 15 years as executive director of the contemporary ballet company Ballet Nouveau Colorado.
“Lissy Garrison has a proven record of not only achieving major fundraising goals at education and arts institutions, but also building and leading diverse and talented teams,” Cole said. “I believe she is a terrific fit to lead our accomplished Advancement division as we begin the next chapter for our exceptional school. With Lissy’s expertise in all areas of philanthropy, as well as her true passion for the arts, the sky is the limit for reaching our goals as we move into the next era for UNCSA.”
Cole said Garrison will be a key member of his senior leadership team as he leads the campus through its next strategic plan, UNCSA Forward.
“I am particularly pleased that throughout her career in higher education and nonprofit arts, Lissy Garrison has developed a deep understanding of issues surrounding equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, a top priority for our campus,” Cole said. “Provost Patrick J. Sims and I look forward to collaborating with her on these initiatives at UNCSA.”
Over the past decade, Garrison has established a track record of building highly successful advancement teams and has raised more than $100 million in philanthropy for programs in higher education. Since 2017, she has served the University of Denver as assistant vice chancellor for development, leading a team of accomplished fundraisers to achieve annual fundraising goals of $50 million to $75 million annually. Prior to that she spent seven years as assistant dean for advancement for the College of Music and all areas of music, arts and culture at the University of Colorado Boulder. In this role, she launched the university’s first unit-based comprehensive campaign, resulting in more than $100 million in new resources for the college, including a significant facilities expansion. From 1994 to 2009 Garrison was executive director of Ballet Nouveau Colorado, a nationally acclaimed nonprofit providing groundbreaking, high-impact arts education, outreach and performance programming to Colorado and the region.
"I have devoted the majority of my career to advancing the growth and impact of nonprofit arts and higher education organizations," said Garrison, "and I am honored and energized to join UNCSA and bring my passion and skills to this role."
Garrison cited the importance of the new strategic plan and its potential for impact on UNCSA’s students, alumni and community. “I am thrilled to partner with Chancellor Cole, the faculty and staff, and the university’s incredible community of donors and volunteers to support and enable the vision of UNCSA Forward,” she said.
Garrison has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Colorado College.
She will lead a UNCSA Advancement team that recently completed the largest fundraising effort in school history, Powering Creativity: The Campaign for UNCSA, which raised $75.3 million, surpassing its goal by more than $10 million.
Garrison succeeds Edward J. Lewis III, who left UNCSA in April to become president and chief executive officer of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in northern Westchester County, New York. Associate Vice Chancellor Richard Whittington has served as interim vice chancellor.
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December 17, 2021