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Senior Leadership Transition

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I hope your summer is off to a great start. I look forward to seeing you when I return from my sabbatical in mid-August.

Out of deference to Acting Co-Presidents Rob Goldberg and Tomoko Sakomura, I’ve refrained from weighing in on campus matters during my time away. However, I write to you today with news about one of my direct reports on senior staff: Elizabeth Boluch Wood will be leaving her position as vice president for Advancement on Wednesday, July 10. After more than 35 years of advancement experience at several higher education institutions, she plans to pursue a path as a consultant, which will allow her to work with a wider variety of organizations. 

Since joining the Swarthmore community in 2021, Liz has made several contributions to the College. She strengthened and expanded Swarthmore’s culture of philanthropy and alumni engagement in support of the College’s mission. Recently, Liz led a feasibility study for the Athletics and Well-Being initiative and recruited a campaign leadership committee to support the project. In the past year, she has closed multiple major gifts for the campaign.

As we emerged from the pandemic, Liz and her team reenergized Garnet Weekend and Alumni Weekend, which have recently drawn record numbers of alumni and families to campus. She has worked to raise Swarthmore’s visibility with alumni and families around the country and across the globe, connecting them to the College in new ways. Liz has also recruited an incredibly talented staff within the Advancement Office.

Later this summer, I will form a selection committee that will lead the search to identify Liz’s successor. In the meantime, I am finalizing plans to appoint an interim vice president to help manage this transition and minimize any disruption to the important work of the Advancement Office. I expect to share more on that in the weeks ahead. Rob and Tomoko have met with the Advancement Office leadership team and the rest of the staff. I am confident in their ability to help navigate this change, and I extend my thanks and gratitude in advance for the team’s patience and flexibility.

Please join me in thanking Liz for her contributions to Swarthmore and wishing her well in her future endeavors.  


Val Smith