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NU names new alumni relations chief

Bob McQuinn, associate vice president for development at the California Institute of Technology, has been named Northwestern University vice president for alumni relations and development.

McQuinn, 54, is a veteran development leader with nearly 20 years of experience covering six comprehensive campaigns.

Since 2003, he has been associate vice president for development at Caltech. McQuinn also served as Caltech’s acting vice president for development and alumni relations in 2008 and 2009, overseeing the 70-member development and alumni relations team and supporting three trustee committees.

During his tenure, Caltech successfully completed its comprehensive campaign, there’s only one Caltech, raising more than $1.4 billion in private support.

“Bob brings extensive experience and a deep understanding of development and alumni relations activities at all levels,” NU President Morton Schapiro said in announcing the appointment. “I’m very pleased to welcome him as a member of the leadership team at Northwestern, and I look forward to working closely with him on our planning for a major fundraising effort.”

Prior to Caltech, McQuinn served as associate vice president for development at Williams College, where he led the planning and launched the Climb Far campaign that resulted in more than $500 million in gifts and commitments to the college.

“It would be a thrilling occasion to be invited into the Northwestern family under any circumstance. But this is an especially exciting time to join the University,” McQuinn said. “With an impressive history of accomplishment by its faculty, students and alumni to build on, Northwestern is well positioned to address so many of our most pressing challenges.

“Raising the required financial support to realize the academic ambitions being developed within the current strategic planning process is a daunting proposition,” he added. “However, great fundraising will happen as the faculty, students, and staff—encouraged by the University’s academic and administrative leadership—work together to effectively engage alumni and benefactors around our most important opportunities and challenges. I can hardly wait to get started.”

McQuinn, who will start his new job at NU later this month, holds both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California. He and his wife, Christine, have three children, Andrew, 25, Breanna, 16, and Julie, 15.

He succeeds Sarah Pearson, who recently was named Northwestern’s chief strategist for institutional partnerships.? 

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