By Andrew Wenner
This winter term Union has welcomed a new faculty member to its campus. Terri Cerveny has been introduced as the new Vice President of College Relations.
She replaces Stephen Dare, who left Union to accept a post as Senior Associate Vice President of Advancement at the University of Rochester.
Cerveny’s office resides in Abbe Hall, which is just beyond the football field at the intersection of Union Avenue and Lenox Road and which houses the Alumni and College Relations departments.
Cerveny began working at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the field of Advancement, where she served for five presidents during her tenure. Her projects involved alumni relations, major giving, planned giving and research.
Her other work experience includes a private consulting firm in New York City, and the Senior Vice President for Development at Albany Medical College.
Cerveny first discovered Union while working at RPI, where some of her initial exposure to Union came from the hockey and football rivalries between the two schools. But after a college trip with her daughter and family, she discovered Union in a new light.
“I was blown away with what Union had to offer, and when a position opened I was very interested,” said Cerveny.
In her first week here, Cerveny has noticed that Union has a strong community led by a successful president, and that the students “have been incredibly warm and welcoming.”
Since coming to Union, Cerveny has seen a wide variety of excellence. She has noticed the exceptional faculty and staff, the alumni and the leadership that make this college the way it is.
“It all fits for the mission,” she said. Everyone is contributing to the overall success of the school.
Cerveny believes that the college can set many different goals that, if achieved, would lead the school to success. This year, she wants to build on the success of the “U are Union” campaign, which was the largest fundraiser in the college’s history. She also wants to promote a strong sense of philanthropy at Union.
“By building on more alumni and students engaged in ‘U are Union,’ we can understand where we are going and support the college in its philanthropy,” she said.
Cerveny noted that participation is key; by working with our college, we can provide a durable, philanthropic school. If our school is active in its push to engage with philanthropy, people will become excited about supporting our direction.
In the long term, Cerveny believes that “we will work to help increase alumni and student awareness, involvement and support of the goals as opportunities and priorities are fully defined.”
By starting a trend, she believes that the college will progress to be a much more durable institution.
In her two weeks here, Cerveny has tried to learn about the Union experience.
She said that ultimately her job as Vice President of College Relations is focused on “how we can tell the Union story to attract the best students and build the philanthropic resources that allow us to attract the best faculty and continue to provide the exceptional liberal arts education that makes Union truly unique.”
Cerveny wants to make people excited about where Union is going. She believes that “we want to communicate our stories, whether it’s newspaper and social media, meeting face-to-face, or alumni. This will make people excited on where we are going in the future.”
Lastly, Cerveny wants to thank the entire campus for the warm welcome she has received since she has arrived at Union. “I’m excited to be here and help Union in achieving its goals.”