College bolsters fundraising team with alumni hires

Grove City College has strengthened its fundraising team with the addition of two major gifts officers, both alumni, to the College’s Office of Development.

Paul Pendergast ’68 joined the Development office in November, following the September hire of Karen (Irwin ’85) Daum. They round out a seven-member roster of fundraising professionals with decades of experience and tens of millions of dollars raised for the College and other non-profits.

“We have a team of seasoned professionals who share the commitment of our alumni and friends to Grove City College’s mission. We are dedicated to building lasting relationships to sustain truly independent Christian higher education,” Brian Powell ’03, senior director of Development, said.

Pendergast comes to the College with an extensive background in management, business development and non-profit and collegiate fundraising. He served as interim athletic director at the University of Connecticut and as UConn’s senior associate athletic director for development. He also served as president of the Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut, the largest Catholic hospital in New England. Pendergast was a quarterback during GCC’s single undefeated season in 1966 and president of his senior class.

Daum has experience in sales, management, marketing, fundraising and administration working in retirement living, banking, insurance and retail industries. Most recently, she served Concordia Lutheran Ministries, stewarding donors on behalf of the president and CEO.

They join a team led by Vice President for Advancement Jeff Prokovich ’89 that includes: Powell; Elizabeth (Smith ’81) Hanley, major gifts officer; Adam Nowland ’07, J.D./M.B.A., director of Planned Giving; Zach Jew ’11, Leadership Annual Giving officer; and Kelly Conger, director of Foundation and Corporate Relations.

Grove City College’s principled stand against accepting any federal funding, including Pell grants for students, and commitment to maintain the affordability of an excellent Christian higher education presents unique fundraising challenges, Powell acknowledged.

“Without taxpayer support or tuition discounting relied upon by most institutions, the College has a critical need to raise private support to provide scholarships and need- and merit-based financial aid that many students rely on to attend Grove City College,” Powell said.

“We can’t afford to not support our country’s last, best place in higher education that stands for faith and freedom,” Powell said. “Our team works tirelessly to make this case as we connect with kindred spirits around the country.”

To learn more about supporting Grove City College, contact Brian Powell at (724) 458-2992 or

College bolsters fundraising team with alumni hires

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