New VP of college advancement leads with liberal arts background

On Aug. 16, President Dahl announced that William Brower was appointed as the new vice president for college advancement and executive director of the Geneseo Foundation.

Entering the position, Brower has over 24 years of industry experience – including 16 years with his alma mater Hamilton College – that will assist him in running Geneseo’s Office of College Advancement.

“I was not looking for a job. I love Hamilton – it’s my college,” Brower said, adding that when he heard about the opening, he “started to look at Geneseo and learn more about it.”

“I knew that it was a strong SUNY, [but] I didn’t realize what a great college [it] is and how similar Geneseo is, as a public liberal arts college, to other private liberal arts colleges,” he said.

According to Brower, the hiring process was rigorous and intense. This only impressed Brower more, as he said that the amount of care the administration took to find the right person for the job only increased his respect for Geneseo.

Despite Geneseo’s reputation, Brower said his decision to leave Hamilton was not an easy one.

“I just love [Hamilton] the way I think you should love [Geneseo] and that people who graduate from here should love this college.” Brower’s esteem for his alma mater and the fulfillment he said he gets from helping students, past and present, has inspired his work in college advancement.

“I want to do my best to help Geneseo by the [standards] that are measured on in my business to look more like the other colleges it looks like in so many other ways,” he said.

According to Brower, this is no simple feat. On average, Geneseo alumni do not donate as early or as often as alumni from small, private liberal arts schools.

Brower also emphasized that the tax subsidies for Geneseo hinder advancement, as Geneseo receives less support from the state now than in previous years. He sees this, however, as an issue that can be overcome, citing Geneseo’s National Campaign, Shaping Lives of Purpose.

“Really good progress is being made … There’s a long way to go, but that impressed me,” Brower said.

Brower said that he has many plans for Geneseo’s college advancement office, including increased collaboration with the career services office.

“I think that advancement and the career center partnering is something that makes an awful lot of sense because, for alumni who have had the same experience as [current students], it’s easier for them to want to help other [students and] provide mentoring, an internship or even a job,” Brower said.

In a press release, President Christopher Dahl expressed confidence in Brower as the new vice president for college advancement.

“I’m delighted to have Bill Brower in this crucial leadership position,” Dahl said in the press release. “His proven success in relationship building and fundraising combined with his passion for liberal education will be pivotal factors as the college continues its progress as one of the nation’s top public liberal arts colleges.”

“On behalf of the search committee and the entire Geneseo community, I warmly welcome Bill to our campus and look forward to working with him,” Dahl said.