New Faces in The Forest

Bret Silver to Lead Drew’s Fundraising Efforts

Has worked with Barnard, Carnegie Hall, Whitney Museum.

February 2019 – Drew University announced that Bret Silver will join the team to lead its fundraising efforts for university advancement this month. A senior nonprofit administrator and institutional advancement executive with 30 years of experience at New York City’s leading universities and cultural organizations, Bret will bring a long record of successful and innovative approaches to building sustainable philanthropic support, as well as a personal passion for higher education.

Bret most recently served as the chief strategy and external relations officer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and, from 2011-2017, was the vice president for development at Barnard Development. Prior to his time at Barnard, Bret held increasingly senior management roles at Carnegie Hall, the Whitney Museum of American Art and, from 2001 to 2011, Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he served as chief external relations officer with responsibility for all development, marketing and communications functions.

“I’m thrilled that Bret is joining Drew. His considerable fundraising achievements, in New York City and beyond, will allow us to build on our record of success and provide even greater support for some of our most important initiatives, including Launch, our new approach to out-of-the-classroom experiences, such as our New York City Semesters, hands-on research opportunities, new programs in both the Theological School and Caspersen School and scholarships for our students. Additionally, Bret’s experience in arts philanthropy brings a welcome new dimension to our fundraising efforts,” said President MaryAnn Baenninger.

When Bret arrived at Barnard, both the College’s endowment and its levels of annual contributions were insufficient relative to its operating budget and fully need-blind aid policy. Under the leadership of President Debora Spar, Bret reimagined and repositioned Barnard’s socioeconomically diverse student body. He conceived and led a $400 million capital campaign that increased Barnard’s endowment by 60 percent, doubled the number of faculty chairs, funded construction of a new library and social sciences building and significantly increased annual and planned giving. He also developed an international network of principal donors, building relationships for the College in China, Korea, India, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

“It is a privilege to be joining President Baenninger’s stellar cabinet. This group of leaders has boldly addressed critical issues facing college students and their families today—affordability, access and career preparedness—in innovative and forward-looking ways. I am eager to join the team and to work with President Baenninger and the Board of Trustees to chart a philanthropic course that will continue to propel Drew upward,” said Silver.

The search for the vice president was chaired by Javier Viera, vice provost and dean of the Theological School. Committee members included Carol Bassie, director of alumni and parent relations; Andrew Bonamici, university librarian; Judy Campbell P’94, G’10,’16, member of the Board of Trustees; Stacy Fischer, director of the Center for Global Education; De’Andre Salter C’92, member of the Board of Trustees; Chris Taylor, professor of Islamic history and Middle East studies; and Marc Tomljanovich, professor of economics.

Robert Herr to Join Drew as Vice President for Enrollment Management

Has led successful enrollment efforts.

February 2019 – Drew University President MaryAnn Baenninger announced that Robert Herr will serve as vice president for enrollment management and dean of College admissions. He replaces Bob Massa, senior vice president for enrollment, who retired from Drew this month.

Herr will be responsible for the University’s enrollment strategy, overseeing undergraduate and graduate admission, financial aid and athletics. He will begin at Drew on May 1, 2019.

Herr brings 28 years of higher education admission and enrollment experience to Drew. He has served as dean of enrollment at Wagner College since 2011 and has been an integral part of the enrollment leadership team that expanded Wagner’s outreach and strengthened its market position. He has led efforts to increase several admission cohorts including graduate, second degree and new transfer students, and successfully collaborated with faculty and staff colleagues on retention and admission efforts. Additionally, he helped develop and implement a financial aid strategy that successfully leveraged need-based aid, reduced the discount rate for first-year students and increased net revenue.

“I am excited to join the Drew community,” Herr said. “Its academic reputation, diverse community and location provide a distinctive opportunity for prospective students. I look forward to developing partnerships across the campus so that we can continue to enroll, educate and mentor the next generation of Drew graduates.”

Herr served as assistant vice president for enrollment management at Stevenson University from 2007-2011. During his tenure, the university successfully changed its name from Villa Julie College to Stevenson University. While there, he led an admissions effort that resulted in a 37% increase in the incoming first year class over a four-year period.

Earlier in his career, Herr served as the director of admission at Seton Hall University (2005-2007), associate director of admissions at The George Washington University (1999-2005) and assistant director of admissions at NJIT (1993-1999) and at Wagner (1991-1993).

“I’m so pleased that Bob is joining our team. A leader in his field, he brings admissions experience that’s both broad and deep, and he has been a part of several successful enrollment efforts. I am confident that his leadership will help us continue our upward trajectory in enrollment,” said President Baenninger.

Herr has been actively involved in several professional organizations, including the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC), the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling and the National Association for College Admission Counseling. He served on the regional council for the College Board from 2011-2014. He currently co-chairs the admission practices committee for NYSACAC and mentors new professionals at their Summer Institute and Winter Institute programs. Herr earned his BA in history from Susquehanna University.

The search for the vice president was chaired by Sarah Abramowitz, professor of mathematics. Committee members included Michelle Brisson, dean of student engagement; Rob Franek C’93 and member of the Board of Trustees; Anne Heger, associate director of admissions; Faith Jackson, director of communications; Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, associate dean of the Theological School; Daniel Pascoe Aguilar, associate provost for experiential education and career development; Christa Racine, director of athletics; and Trevor Weston, professor of music.


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