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Winter 2013-2014

Zehel Leads University Advancement

Renée Gregori Zehel ’91 Named as V.P.

Renée Gregori Zehel ’91 wants to ensure Marywood University’s bold future. Recently named as Vice President for University Advancement by Sister Anne Munley, IHM, President, after a national search Mrs. Zehel is positioned to do just that, as she helps to guide the University’s largest comprehensive campaign initiative to date, A Bold Heart: the Centennial Campaign for Marywood University.

As Vice President for University Advancement, she oversees all phases of Marywood University’s advancement activities, including alumni engagement and development. She seeks the kind of funding that Marywood University students need—capital resources, endowments, and annual funds that benefit them through scholarships, enhance and strengthen academic programs, build and renovate facilities, and sponsor new University initiatives.

“When we say ‘every gift matters,’ we mean it. All gifts to Marywood University have the power to help so many people realize their full potential—people that donors may never meet, but whose lives they will impact forever,” said Mrs. Zehel. “I am honored by the opportunity to serve my alma mater at this significant moment in its history, as Marywood prepares to celebrate 100 years of empowering others through education and we embark on a landmark campaign that will set a solid foundation for Marywood’s second century.”

Her personal experience as a first-generation college student gives her an important perspective, she says, and this inspires and informs her work as Vice President for University Advancement.

“Because of the generosity and kindness of others, I attained my dream of a college education. Guided by the IHM Sisters and with the support of my parents, my grandmother, and scholarships, I realized the possibilities,” states Mrs. Zehel. “Every part of that experience—from the work study program and my mentors in the Admissions Office to the Comm Arts faculty to the lifelong friendships I forged during late nights on VM-FM—shaped my life in positive ways. I have always been and will always be a proud alumna and an advocate for a Marywood education. I want to ensure that these opportunities and more are available for generations to come.”

An accomplished resource development specialist, Mrs. Zehel has a demonstrated record of generating revenue for higher education institutions and other nonprofits. Preceding her appointment as Vice President for University Advancement, she held the positions of Director of Development and Director of Government, Corporate, and Foundation Relations at Marywood, where she has worked since 2005. Prior to her Marywood tenure, Mrs. Zehel served as the Director of Government, Corporate, and Foundation Relations at Misericordia University, Dallas, PA. She was also employed as Manager of the Proposal Development Department for PHP Healthcare Corporation, Reston, VA.

In 2005, Mrs. Zehel earned the CASE Faculty Star Award for her presentation, “Best Practices in Corporate/Foundation Relations,” at the CASE National Conference in Chicago, IL. She has given regional and national presentations on advancement topics such as proposals, grants, fundraising, entrepreneurship and innovation, appropriations, and developing and funding collaborative initiatives. Her current professional affiliations include the Association of Fundraising Professionals, for which she has served as a board member; Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, where she is a member of the Association’s Economic Development Committee; Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE); and Lourdesmont, where she serves on the Board of Directors. She has also been associated with the Mercy Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors, the Great Valley Technology Alliance Business Plan Competition, and the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association.

Mrs. Zehel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts, cum laude, from Marywood. She earned a Master of Science degree in Education from Misericordia University. Presently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Human Development, with a specialization in Higher Education Administration, at Marywood University, where she has completed all coursework and holds A.B.D. status, with an anticipated 2014 graduation. She has had additional professional training via Leadership Lackawanna, Leadership Wilkes-Barre, and The Grantsmanship Training Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Mrs. Zehel is actively involved in her parish, Mary, Mother of God, Scranton, as a lector and volunteer. She resides in North Scranton with her husband, Shawn Zehel ’92, and their two children, Austin and Olivia.

“When we say ‘every gift matters,’ we mean it. All gifts to Marywood University have the power to help so many people realize their full potential—people that donors may never meet, but whose lives they will impact forever,” said Mrs. Zehel. “I am honored by the opportunity to serve my alma mater at this significant moment in its history, as Marywood prepares to celebrate 100 years of empowering others through education and we embark on a landmark campaign that will set a solid foundation for Marywood’s second century.”

Renée Zehel



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