Fundraising leader to head up University presidential transition team

Media Credit: Hatchet file photo.

Aristide Collins, the vice president for development and alumni relations, will lead the presidential transition team.

Artiside Collins, the vice president for development and alumni relations, will leave his current position to chair the group coordinating the transition of GW’s next president, the University announced Wednesday.

Collins will return to the board as vice president and secretary full-time for the role. He will lead the team that will coordinate visits for the incoming president and organize forums with students, faculty, staff, alumni and other university partners to hear input during the process, according to the release.

Matthew Manfra, the associate vice president for alumni relations, will serve as interim vice president for development and alumni relations, the release stated.

Thomas LeBlanc, the current executive vice president and provost at the University of Miami, was named the 17th president of GW earlier this month.

“I am grateful for the trust placed in me to lead the presidential transition and look forward to engaging students, faculty and staff to ensure their views and needs are well understood by our incoming president,” Collins said in the release.

Collins led the efforts for GW’s $1 billion campaign that publicly launched in 2014, and is now 95 percent complete. The campaign was originally expected to conclude in 2018 but the goal is now anticipated to be reached this year after raising $952 million from 62,880 donors.

“As our Making History campaign rapidly approaches a successful conclusion, Vice President Collins is taking on our next critical initiative: ensuring a seamless presidential transition,” University President Steven Knapp said in the release. “I am committed to doing everything I can to support him in this effort.”

The announcement of the new president comes about six months after the Board of Trustees began its search to replace Knapp, who announced he would stepping down at the end of this academic year in June of last year. The search was led by Board of Trustees Chairman Nelson Carbonell and Trustee Madeline Jacobs.

“Aristide has been invaluable to the Board of Trustees throughout his service, and I appreciate his willingness to lead this critical effort to prepare our next president to lead our great university on day one,” Carbonell said in the release.

Members of the transition team will include Senior Vice President and General Counsel Beth Nolan, Vice President for External Relations Lorraine Voles, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs Teresa Murphy and Senior Advisor to the Executive Vice President and Treasurer Dorinda Tucker. The Office of the Board of Trustees will provide support to the transition group and will report to the Board Committee on Presidential Selection and Transition, according to the release.

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