This spring, Michael Archibald, vice president of Institutional Advancement, announced the appointment of Virginia Halverson as the new director of parent philanthropy. In this role, Virginia will oversee parent volunteerism and fundraising at Scripps, including the Parent Leadership Council and the Parents Fund.
With over 10 years of experience at liberal arts, higher education institutions, Virginia brings a great deal of creativity, passion, and expertise to the Office of Parent Engagement and Philanthropy. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in psychology and remains passionate about women’s education. Before coming to Scripps as a senior advancement officer in 2014, Virginia worked at Chapman University—where she also earned a master of business administration, and Whittier College.
Recently, Scott Busiel, associate director for advancement communications, met with Virginia to reflect on her appointment and her goals for the position and department.
Scott Busiel: Congratulations on this opportunity! What motivated your interest in the director of parent philanthropy role?
Virginia Halverson: Thank you! It is an honor to lead the newly named Office of Parent Engagement and Philanthropy, and I am thrilled to take on this role. This position enables me to combine my experiences in a unique way. I love that I will be able to continue the relationships I’ve built across the Scripps community during the past few years, and I can also take the opportunity to look globally at how the College engages families. We are at the point in which we can discover new ways families can further strengthen Scripps and contribute to the community.
SB: You indicated that the office name has changed recently. Can you shed light onto some of your initial goals for the Office of Parent Engagement and Philanthropy?
VH: Parents are such a vibrant source of strength for the college, through the time and resources they share. I would love this office to serve as a matchmaker, aligning the interests families have with available opportunities to engage the College. Examples of this might include making welcome calls to new families or participating on a career panel. We want our families to feel connected to Scripps, as they are an important part of the community. I am also hoping to show the value in philanthropy, in giving. In my previous role, it was rewarding to align the philanthropic interests of individuals with the College’s needs and priorities. We are so fortunate to have a passionate and engaged alumnae and family base, moved to generously support Scripps. But I also want to emphasize the importance of the collective power of smaller gifts for the College. With only around 7,000 alumnae, Scripps relies on the generosity of all its families, and there is an opportunity to make a real difference by giving back—no matter the level.
We are also transitioning from a successful two-year term with Cheryl and David Scheidemantle P’17 leading the Parent Leadership Council (PLC). It is my goal to continue their great work in building an active Parent Leadership Council and connecting with first-year families from the moment their student chooses Scripps. We want our PLC members to feel empowered and supported in developing regional activities and being leaders who take great pride in supporting the College. Stay tuned for an announcement of our new Scripps Association of Families co-chairs later this spring!
Also, I would love to see families and alumnae come together to strengthen the Scripps network for all involved. This may come in the form of events or through our new online community, the Scripps Community Network. We are united by our purpose to provide the best possible experience for our students, while they are at Scripps and beyond. A worthy charge!