Rachel Smith Silver has been appointed interim vice president for development and alumni affairs, subject to board approval. Silver will assume leadership for all development and alumni relations functions of the college when Bill Barlow retires from the position on June 30. She will begin on May 20 in preparation for a smooth transition of responsibilities.
“I am delighted Rachel has agreed to serve as interim vice president for development and alumni affairs,” says President Carmen Twillie Ambar. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership expertise that will be of great value to Oberlin during this period of change.”
Silver has more than 20 years of experience working in donor relations and alumni engagement, serving most recently as associate vice president for college and student advancement at Colby College from 2016 to 2018. While at Colby, she was responsible for leadership giving, alumni and parent programs, and advancement communications functions, among other areas.
“Oberlin has been a bellwether institution throughout its history,” says Silver. “I am excited to come to Oberlin as it imagines how it will continue to lead by example. Distinctive for its excellence in breadth and depth of study, the energy and creativity of its students and faculty, and its tradition of making a difference in the world, Oberlin can blaze the path forward for liberal arts education and its impact.”
Prior to Colby, Silver was executive director in the Office of the Provost and associate provost for advancement at Dartmouth College. Her experience also includes fundraising roles at Harvard Law School, MIT, Groton School, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Silver earned a bachelor of arts degree at Amherst College.
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