Top alumni relations officer to step down next month

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Matt Manfra, the senior associate vice president for alumni relations and annual giving, will step down next month to take on a new role at Georgian Court University in New Jersey.

The senior associate vice president for alumni relations and annual giving will step down at the end of the month to take on a new role at a small New Jersey college, according to a University release Tuesday.

Matt Manfra, who has worked at GW for more than three years and briefly served as the interim vice president for development and alumni relations, will become the vice president for institutional advancement at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, N.J. His last day at GW is Feb. 1, the release states.

“GW is an amazing place, and I’ve been fortunate to have many only-at-GW moments during my tenure here,” Manfra said in the release.

Manfra is the third top administrator to depart from the University since the start of the new year. Ann McCorvey, the deputy executive vice president and treasurer, announced her resignation earlier this month, and Jeffrey Akman, the dean of the medical school, said last week that he intends to step down this year.

Manfra, who began his tenure at GW in 2015, took over the development and alumni relations divisions after Aristide Collins stepped down to lead University President Thomas LeBlanc’s transition team in 2017. Manfra returned to his previous role in alumni relations when the current vice president of development and alumni relations, Donna Arbide, started at the University last spring.

“We all wish Matt much success in his new role,” Arbide said in the release. “GW will be forever grateful for his leadership.”

During his one-year tenure at the helm of the development office, Manfra oversaw the conclusion of the University’s largest-ever capital campaign. The University fundraised $1 billion a year ahead of schedule in 2017.

He also led the rollout of a form to connect students and alumni and the launch of a virtual book club to connect alumni. Manfra also oversaw the combination of parents and alumni weekends into one event in fall 2017.

After returning to his position as senior associate vice president for alumni relations and annual giving, Manfra helped create plans for new programs catering to legacy students and jumpstart an exclusive advisory group of high-profile alumni.

Manfra was also criticized during his tenure for his handling of a planned merger between the GW Alumni Association and the University’s alumni office. GW’s alumni division suddenly severed ties with the association in the fall and decided to launch its own alumni group, leaving members of the association “blindsided.”

Details about a search for Manfra’s successor were not immediately available.

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