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Elms College Appoints Bernadette Nowakowski VP of Institutional Advancement

CHICOPEE — Elms College has appointed Bernadette Nowakowski as its new vice president of Institutional Advancement, effective Feb. 1.

“After a national search, it became clear to me and the search committee that Bernadette was our most qualified candidate,” said President Harry Dumay. “With more than 22 years of professional experience in higher-education advancement, Bernadette also has a deep knowledge of Elms College’s history and mission as well as our current vision. She earned her B.A. in international studies with a minor in modern languages here at Elms in 1989, and her master of arts of liberal arts in 2008.”

Nowakowski has served in various roles in the college’s Institutional Advancement office since 1996. Her collaborative and collegial style embraces shared responsibility and accountability in creating a positive, team-oriented environment to achieve results. Her proven ability to engage and develop effective relationships with key constituency groups, including individuals, corporations, and foundations, has built a solid track record in solicitation of major gifts and strategic fundraising.

Most recently, she has served as the assistant vice president of Institutional Advancement since 2017. She has been responsible for co-creating, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive development plan, as well as participating in intense fundraising planning. She also has provided leadership and strategic direction in IA through exploration of new fundraising options while overseeing major gifts, annual giving, and endowed-scholarship and planned-giving programs. 

Nowakowski is a current member of the Planned Giving Group of New England, the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She previously served on the board of Women in Philanthropy of Western Mass. as membership co-chair, as employee campaign coordinator at United Way of Pioneer Valley, and as a member of the Women in Philanthropy of Western Massachusetts and Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield Grants Group. She also served on Elms College’s presidential search committee in 2016-17 and its strategic planning (fiscal stability) committee in 2016.

In her new role, Nowakowski will be responsible for the planning, management, and execution of a comprehensive advancement program, including oversight of all fundraising initiatives.

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