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New Vice President of Development Announced

By Maralee Csellar

Following a national search, American University president Neil Kerwin has named Thomas J. Minar as the university’s new vice president of development and alumni relations.  He was most recently special assistant to the president at Roosevelt University in Chicago.  Minar will start October 15. 

While overseeing AU’s fund-raising and alumni relations programs, Minar will work closely with the university leadership, schools and colleges, alumni, and the Board of Trustees to invigorate an effort to support AU’s strategic priorities, attract new funding, and build lifelong relationships between AU and its 100,000 alumni.  Among his key responsibilities will be to successfully conclude the $200 million AnewAU campaign, build a foundation to help meet AU’s financial needs emanating from the new strategic plan and future facilities plans, and strengthen the participation of alumni in the life of the university.  

“Dr. Minar brings to the position a wealth of experience in higher education fundraising, alumni affairs, constituent relations, and university administration,” said President Neil Kerwin. “We look forward to working closely with him to help AU achieve its strategic goals and even greater levels of success.” 
For the past five years at Roosevelt University, in Chicago, Minar served as vice president for institutional advancement and most recently as a special assistant to the president.  As the chief advancement officer for the two-campus comprehensive university, he planned, restructured, and managed the development and alumni affairs operations—securing a significant number of gifts, grants and pledges during his time there.

“I look forward to meeting more of the remarkable students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends at American University and to joining such an engaged community eager to expand the university’s growth and prominence,” said Minar.

From 1999 to 2003, he was vice president for development and external affairs at Chicago Theological Seminary, where he also was an adjunct professor of religion, political science, and management, and was assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees.  Previously, he was director of development for the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, associate dean for external affairs and chief development officer for the University of Illinois College of Commerce and Business Administration, and assistant dean and director of of alumni relations at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.

Minar earned his doctorate in political science from Northwestern University, master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and bachelor’s degree from Pomona College.  He is currently president of the Pomona College Alumni Association. 

Located in Washington, D.C., American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries and providing opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.