After helping raise over $50 million for the Leadership in Learning campaign, Director of Development Megan Murphy will leave Marlborough Oct. 16 to become the vice president of development and alumni affairs at the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea program.
With $15 million left to raise to complete the campaign goal of $65 million, Head of School Barbara Wagner said, “It’s a challenging time. It’s an important position for us to fill and fill as quickly as possible.”
Wagner said that while she’s sorry to see Murphy leave the campaign, this is the most practical time for her to do so, since the campaign is moving into its third and final phase. During the first two phases, Murphy led the Development Office in securing gifts from the largest few donors, a job which required extensive personal meetings and travel. Now in the construction’s final stage, the office will focus more on widespread solicitation of smaller gifts through events and mailings.
“I honestly don’t think there’s ever a perfect time [for Murphy to leave], but the biggest part of the campaign has been achieved, and it’s great that another opportunity came along for her,” Wagner said.
Wagner hired Gary Kaplan & Associates to lead a search team to fill Murphy’s position.
Board of Trustees President Carol Bennett said she is confident the school will find a replacement who is the right fit.
“We will focus on a candidate that will continue to engage with and energize this very philanthropic community,” Bennett said.
Murphy, a Pittsburgh native, said a primary reason for her departure is her desire to return to the East Coast where she can be closer to her six nieces and nephews.
Murphy was offered her new job when the school’s construction campaign was initiated four years ago, but she declined.
“I was committed to launching the public face of the campaign, and I wasn’t ready to leave,” Murphy said.
She anticipates her new job.
“This new position will allow me to grow and find new challenges,” Murphy said.
Murphy, a key leader in the campaign, is in her eighth year as Director of Development.
“We’ve achieved a huge amount, and she’s helped us achieve that,” Wagner said.
Murphy provided “leadership and direction for all the school’s friend-raising and fundraising,” including both raising money and bringing alumnae back to the school, Wagner said. For example, Murphy helped enhance and further develop the Poet Laureate tea for alumnae.
Bennett said that Murphy, along with her staff, has increased the number of alumnae, who donate to the Annual Fund, from 16 to 33 percent, and the number of parents who donate annually to the Marlborough Fund.
Article by Cassidy and Colleen, UV Staff
To learn more about Semester at Sea, the program Murphy will be working for, click HERE.