Lexington, VA • Thursday, November 01, 2007
Paul Gardner has announced his resignation as Director of Law School Advancement at the Washington and Lee School of Law to become the Associate Dean for Advancement at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Gardner earned his undergraduate degree from UNC and directed the fundraising and alumni affairs efforts at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the UNC School of Dentistry for 16 years before moving here in 2005.
Gardner cited family health issues as his primary motivation.
"My mother has Multiple Sclerosis, which makes it nearly impossible for her to travel to Lexington to visit our family, particularly her two grandchildren, Tucker and Lily," he said. "We love everything about Lexington and W&L, except for the fact that our children aren't seeing my parents as much as I want them to."
Paul's wife, Ronni Gardner, who is Director of Development for Special Projects, will continue to work for Washington and Lee from North Carolina. Her current responsibilities include the Lee Chapel endowment campaign and the 50th undergraduate class reunion campaigns.
"Paul is a very special person and we will miss him for his warmth and values and sense of humor every bit as much for his solid professionalism as a development director," said Dean Rod Smolla. "His decision to put his family first is characteristic of Paul, and admirable."
During Gardner's tenure as Director of Law School Advancement, $500,000 was contributed to complete the renovation of the Millhiser Moot Court Room, a Benefactors' Dinner and the Dean's Council donor society were created, more than $1 million was raised toward the Roger Groot Professorship, and a total of nearly $6 million was committed to the School. In his first year at W&L, the total number of staff visits to School alumni and total dollars contributed to the School were increased by 180%.
"The outlook for the School's next campaign is phenomenal," Paul said. "Rod Smolla has great new ideas and energy, and I will miss our professional relationship and his friendship. I will also miss the fantastic advancement team—Elizabeth Branner, Sarah Hughes, and Joan Miller—at the School of Law. Dennis Cross, the Vice President for Advancement, has supported all we have implemented at the School, and I owe him thanks for his confidence in our efforts. Ronni and I feel like we're leaving one family to return to mine in Chapel Hill."
Gardner will work for the School of Law through the end of the year and start at UNC on January 2, 2008.