Vice president for institutional advancement
Matt Rizzo was appointed vice president of institutional advancement in May 2016. Immediately prior to Bennington, Rizzo served as associate vice president for development at Brown University for three years as part of a $3 billion capital campaign. He has 20 years of experience building sustainable advancement programs, planning and leading fundraising campaigns, relationship management with high net worth individuals and foundations, and organizational strategic planning. Rizzo’s career has centered on development and communications programming, including successfully launching a foundation that assisted inner-city student-athletes in the college recruiting, admissions, and financial aid processes; leading campaigns for community arts organizations and the Public Broadcasting Service; and serving as a senior development leader at Middlebury College and Vermont Law School. At Brown, Rizzo led a team of 40 staff that secured $90 million annually through strategic engagement efforts.
Rizzo is a graduate of Denison University where he earned a BA in history and was a varsity athlete on the nationally ranked men’s lacrosse team. He has 20 years of experience as a coach at the youth, high school varsity, and Division 1 levels, including state championships in Illinois (2000) and Vermont (2013). Rizzo is also an accomplished musician with deep roots in jazz. The son of a professional jazz guitarist and grandson of a jazz bassist, he is classically trained in jazz guitar and has performed, recorded, and taught since an early age. Rizzo and his wife, Kelly, have two sons, Jack and Henry.