Hampshire College brings former Smith officer on as development chief

  • JENNIFER CHRISLER

Staff Writer
Published: 9/3/2019 10:23:39 PM

AMHERST — As Hampshire College begins a new semester — and, in many ways, a new chapter in its history — the school has recently added several new members to its leadership team.

One of those new hires is a familiar face in the Pioneer Valley: Jennifer Chrisler, a Smith College graduate who was vice president of alumnae relations at Smith before becoming vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She will be Hampshire’s chief advancement officer.

“I feel incredibly grateful that Jen wanted to come back to the Valley,” Hampshire President Ed Wingenbach said. “She brings us a level of accomplishment and skill that would, I think, have been very hard to attract otherwise.”

Chrisler will lead the largest fundraising campaign in Hampshire’s history as it strives to maintain its independence. The college has raised approximately $9 million in cash and pledges recently and hopes to raise $20 million by next summer.

Previous college president Ken Rosenthal said that to become financially sustainable, Hampshire is hoping to raise at least $100 million over the next five years.

Besides Wingenbach, who was brought on in July to serve as the college’s eighth president, other new members of Hampshire’s revamped leadership team include Larry Archey, the former director of facilities who is now director of operations, and retired Amherst College treasurer Peter Shea, Hampshire’s new chief financial officer.

Chrisler headed alumnae relations at Smith from 2013 to 2018. Before that, she led the Family Equality Council, a nonprofit focused on LGBT equality. 

In an email to campus, Wingenbach said that during her most recent stint at UMass Dartmouth, Chrisler helped increase fundraising by 39 percent, exceeding the university’s goals.


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