News Releases

Ithaca College Vice President Shelley Semmler Announces Departure Plans

ITHACA, NY — After 15 years of raising funds — and friends — for Ithaca College, Shelley Semmler has announced that she will be retiring from her position as the college’s vice president for institutional advancement on February 28, 2012.
Semmler led the college through its first true comprehensive campaign, “Making a World of Difference,” which raised $145 million — far exceeding the $115 million goal.

Those donations, plus millions more brought in since the formal end of the campaign, have been put toward such critical and diverse projects as the construction of the Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise and the Athletics and Events Center; renovation of the Dillingham Center for the Performing Arts; acquisition of the Circle Apartments for student housing; establishment and enhancement of academic programs, faculty development opportunities and student internships; and creation of endowed and annual scholarships to make an Ithaca education affordable to students and their families.

“The imprint on the college of Shelley Semmler’s leadership of our fund-raising operation will be felt for decades to come,” said Tom Rochon, president of Ithaca College. “I am personally grateful to Shelley for her efforts, in the three years that I have been president, to help me get to know IC’s extensive network of supporters. I also appreciate that we will have the coming year to plan for a smooth transition to her successor. Thanks to her good work in building a strong advancement team and making lasting connections with students, alumni, parents and friends, the college is well positioned for a bright future.”

Semmler joined the college in 1996 as associate vice president and was named vice president for institutional advancement in 1999. Prior to that she had served as a senior associate with the consulting firm Carol O’Brien Associates and spent 16 years in a number of development positions at Cornell University.

In 2006, Semmler was named District II Professional of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the country’s most widely respected organization for development, alumni relations and marketing communication professionals in higher education. The award recognizes outstanding leadership coupled with community service. Her many volunteer activities have included service on the boards of the Hangar Theatre, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International, Challenge Industries and YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County.