A changing of the guard in University Advancement
Senior Vice President Jim Husson will depart for UPenn; Amy Yancey to assume acting role.
After 20 years of leading Boston College University Advancement to unprecedented heights, James J. Husson, P’21, senior vice president for University Advancement, announced he will depart BC to become the vice president for development and alumni relations at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2022. Vice President for Development Amy Yancey will serve as acting senior vice president for University Advancement.
Under Husson’s direction, University Advancement secured record resources for Boston College and its students through philanthropic commitments from alumni, parents, and friends, in the process turning BC’s into a model development unit among higher education institutions and helping grow cash gifts from roughly $56 million annually to more than $200 million over two decades.
Husson helmed Light the World—BC’s most successful campaign, which ended in 2016 and exceeded its goal by raising $1.6 billion—and cemented Pops on the Heights: the Barbara and Jim Cleary Scholarship Gala as one of the most celebrated and most impactful traditions on the BC calendar. In 29 previous years, Pops has raised more than $100 million and created more than 3,500 scholarships for BC students. Husson also successfully reorganized the advancement operation, bringing alumni relations within the Office of University Advancement, aligning alumni engagement with broader University advancement priorities, and eventually tripling its staff to a total of 235.
Reflecting on his tenure, Husson said that he was grateful for his time at the Heights and the opportunity to work with University President William P. Leahy, S.J., as well as the dedicated University Advancement staff.
“It is difficult to put into words all that Boston College has meant to me during the past 20 years,” said Husson. “Professionally, I have worked alongside an incredibly talented community of advancement professionals, and together we have been inspired by BC’s alumni, parents, and friends as they have propelled the University to new heights. Personally, I have witnessed the transformative effect of a BC education through the experience of my daughter and other members of my family who today proudly call themselves Eagles. I will always remain grateful to Fr. Leahy for the opportunity he gave me to be part of this vibrant community.”
While the University launches a search to replace Husson, Yancey will oversee University Advancement. Yancey came to Boston College in 2019 from the University of Virginia to serve as vice president for development. Since then, she has helped direct BC’s fundraising efforts to record success. This past year, the division achieved $300 million in commitments and $200 million in cash. Yancey has more than 20 years of experience in higher education advancement, having held leadership roles in four comprehensive campaigns ranging from $1 billion to $5 billion at three national universities. Most recently, she served as associate vice president for development at the University of Virginia. Yancey previously held leadership roles at Penn State and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before pursuing a career in advancement, she was vice president for production at Mars Publishing, a computer industry start-up in Los Angeles. She is excited and humbled by the opportunity to lead the division during this transition.
“I am eternally grateful to Jim for giving me an opportunity to join Boston College three years ago. A natural teacher, he has been a wonderful mentor and advocate for me and for our team. Through him, I have gotten to know just how special the BC community is,” Yancey said.
In addition to Yancey, the Office of University Advancement is led by six associate vice presidents whose service to BC ranges from four years to nearly a quarter-century: Ben Anderson (Principal Giving), Renee DeCesare (Schools and Organizational Giving), Peggy McCorkle (Annual and Leadership Giving), Brenda Ricard (Operations and Planning), Leah Spencer (Alumni Relations), Wesley Ellison Stewart (Major and Parent Giving and Athletics), and Meg Tiede (Constituent Engagement and Campaign Operations).
“We are so fortunate to have an advancement bench with outstanding commitment to BC’s Jesuit, Catholic mission and deep expertise in our work. I’m honored to work alongside such talented colleagues” said Yancey. “The sky is the limit for Boston College and we cannot wait to see what we will accomplish next.”