Institutional News

President Silver Announces New Appointment: SVP for Strategic Partnerships

In a letter to the Bennington College community, President Mariko Silver announced the appointment of Paige Bartels, vice president of institutional advancement, to a new role as senior vice president for strategic partnerships.

A Message from President Mariko Silver

It is my pleasure to announce that Paige Bartels, who serves as vice president for institutional advancement, has been appointed senior vice president for strategic partnerships. In her new role, Paige will lead the College’s efforts to establish and strengthen relationships with cultural institutions and thought-leaders, especially those who share our mission to cultivate a mindset for change and the conditions for progress. Building the Bennington network is a strategic priority for the College, and I can think of no one more able than Paige to steer this effort in support of Bennington’s 10-year goals. 

Since January 2004, Paige has headed Bennington’s fundraising and alumni relations teams, who under her leadership have raised more than $133 million for the College. She led Bennington’s last comprehensive capital campaign, concluding it on the occasion of our 75th anniversary having surpassed the $75 million goal by more than 20%. Annual giving has increased from just under $1 million in FY05 to $1.6 million in FY15 and alumni participation has grown from 18% in FY05 to 24% in FY15. Paige has helped to expand faculty involvement in advancement efforts and has secured national foundation support, including grants from the Mellon, Sherman Fairchild, and Davis Educational Foundations. 

She and her team recently partnered with alumni to design and introduce a new structure for alumni and parents to engage—the Alumni Cooperative—which now has a presence in seven cities. Thanks to the advancement team’s efforts, the College has three times received the CASE Award for Overall Fundraising Performance, a national award that honors exemplary development operations. 

Throughout her tenure, Paige has carefully matched the philanthropic priorities of those who believe in Bennington with the programs, new and revived, that inspire them to invest in Bennington—the Center for the Advancement of Public Action, Poetry at Bennington, Field Work Term, Museum Term, and nearly every corner of campus. Paige’s relationships extend across generations of alumni to faculty and staff on campus to trustees and advisors. Her experiences prior to joining Bennington, first at Oxford University and then at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, ideally situate her to build on Bennington’s legacy as a cultural center, extending our reach through the Berkshires to New York and Los Angeles and everywhere in between. 

In her new role Paige will continue to act as an adviser to me on philanthropic strategy at the highest level, work with key donors with whom she has longstanding relationships, and help craft campaign priorities and strategy. I am excited about this new role for Paige and what it will bring to the College, and allow the College to bring to the world.

The College has engaged Development Guild/DDI to immediately begin the search for a new vice president for institutional advancement. Victoria Jones and Troy Finn also will work with our advancement team to achieve our near-term goals while laying the groundwork for future campaign success.