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 Montpelier Magazine


Kathy L. Stafford, vice president for university advancement; Thomas Piazze Jr., associate vice president for development/ institutional advancement; Geoff Polglase ('85), associate athletics director for development and marketing

Journey to Excellence

Advancement VP assembles development team as JMU aspires to an even greater vision

Kathy L. Stafford, who took the university's fund-raising helm last spring, has assembled JMU's development team. Stafford, vice president for university advancement, also directs JMU's alumni, parents and media relations, marketing, communications and creative services. She previously served as vice president for advancement at the universities of South Florida, Houston and Akron.

'JMU is fortunate to have Dr. Stafford in this important leadership position,' says JMU President Linwood H. Rose. 'She has proven herself as a fundraiser, having planned and conducted capital campaigns at two universities and leading a successful effort at South Florida that generated $220 million.'

With pending reductions in state funding, private giving becomes a key for the university. Rose says, 'Private support is imperative if we are to provide the student scholarships, faculty support and the facilities necessary to fully satisfy our mission.'

Last year, JMU raised a record $6 million in private funds. The university recently announced that it was seeking $17 million in private funds for new theater and music recital hall facilities and for an Athletics Performance Facility.


Meet the team

Thomas Piazze Jr. and Ted Sudol, the newest members of the development team, joined the staff last fall. Piazze, associate vice president for development/ institutional advancement, oversees and coordinates all facets of university fundraising, including annual, capital, planned, corporate and foundation giving. Sudol, director of planned giving, works with donors to plan gifts of stock, bequests,  charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, deferred charitable gift annuities and gifts of life insurance.

Steve Smith ('71, '75M) and Lisa Horsch ('91, '95M) are capital gifts officers who raise major gifts for JMU. Smith returned to JMU in 2001; he had served JMU previously as director of alumni relations and assistant director of admissions.

Jeff Gilligan heads the Madison Fund, which raises more than $500,000 annually with the help of 45 student callers. Assisting Gilligan is Amy Waters ('98M), who supervises student callers, and directs the Senior Class Challenge, direct mail program and the faculty/staff campaign.

Wendy Jaccard ('97M), director of donor relations, is responsible for donor stewardship and events.


Athletics fundraising

The development officers coordinate their efforts with athletics fundraising, which is headed by Geoff Polglase ('85), associate athletics director for development and marketing. Polglase oversees athletics fundraising, marketing, sports media relations and ticket operations. He also heads the campaign for the Athletics Performance Facility.

Mark Wharton, executive director of athletics development, cultivates capital gifts and endowments. He works with the Duke Club, its advisory board and Shenandoah Valley Chapter volunteers.

Nick Langridge ('00) is associate director of athletics development and the Duke Club. He is the liaison to Duke Club chapter volunteers in Northern Valley, Northern Virginia, Baltimore and Philadelphia and manages the Duke Club Annual Fund. 

Pete Laver ('01) joined the staff last fall as assistant director of athletics development. He is liaison to Duke Club chapter volunteers in Fredericksburg, Charlotte, Charlottesville, Richmond, Staunton, Raleigh, Hampton Roads and Roanoke. He advises the Student Duke Club and athletics department fundraising.