Jaci A. Thiede has been selected as the new Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations for the College. Thiede was most recently Vice President for University Advancement at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind. Prior to her leadership role at Butler, she was the associate Dean for Alumni Relations and Development at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law in Chicago and before that Thiede served as a senior member of the Indiana University Foundation’s development division for 10 years. She will begin work at Grinnell July 31.
“Jaci brings extensive advancement, development, campaign, and alumni relations experience to our strategic priority of ensuring financial sustainability while providing access, maintaining intergenerational equity, and living our values. She has more than 20 years of professional experience in higher education advancement work and campaign consulting,” says Raynard S. Kington, president. “I look forward to the leadership expertise and broad experience she will bring to her role.”
As a member of Grinnell’s senior leadership team, Thiede will provide strategic vision and direction for all fundraising, alumni relations, and stewardship activities.
“Throughout the interview process I was struck by how incredibly passionate everyone — alumni, faculty, students and staff — were about Grinnell College,” Thiede says. “Over and over I had people tell me, ‘Grinnell is a special place.’ It takes just that kind of passion to develop and grow a strong culture of philanthropy and engagement, and I am excited for the opportunity to join the development and alumni relations team and help build upon the foundation that has already been laid. As a very strong advocate for the value and relevance of a liberal arts education, the chance to continue my career at an institution of Grinnell’s caliber is an honor for me.”
While at Butler, Thiede led efforts that resulted in recording the first and third highest fundraising totals in the university’s history. She helped to develop cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies that resulted in the largest individual gift in Butler’s history and increased overall annual giving by 24 percent over two years.
Thiede holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.