The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) honors Shari Best with Retirement Recognition Award after a 25-year career in development at Hobart and William Smith.
February 5, 2002 Geneva, N.Y. – Shari Best first came to William Smith Colleges as a student (Class of 1962). She’d tell you that experience was so good that she came back to work here. And work she did, in the development area for 25 years, until her retirement in 2000.
Best’s years of service and her excellence in her field have earned her the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Retirement Recognition Award. Best will receive the award at the District II CASE conference to be held in Toronto on February 9-12.
Best began her career at the Colleges in 1976 with a temporary assignment as acting director of alumnae relations. Through the years her title changed and her responsibilities changed—but all the time she was building her skills and her relationships with HWS alumni and alumnae.
During Best’s tenure the annual fund at the Colleges grew from $350,000 a year to more than $3 million a year. The endowment grew from $6.5 million to $117 million. Her first capital campaign had a goal of $10 million and her last had a goal of $75 million (and raised more than $100 million). Many more students were able to attend the Colleges due to endowed scholarships she helped initiate, and many capital improvements were made to the campus thanks to the funds she helped raise.
She is a friend to many who attended Hobart and William Smith, and in a letter she sent to those friends upon her retirement she wrote, “I want to thank you for allowing me the privilege of working with you for our Colleges. I have worked hard, but have always received more than I gave. I cannot conceive of a better or more meaningful life.” She noted as well that no one succeeds in a vacuum and that she was honored to work with a fine staff in the development office. She and her husband, Willard, live in Geneva.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., CASE is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, and development. The largest nonprofit education association in terms of institutional membership, it serves more than 38,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of member institutions and has more than 23,500 professional members on its roster.
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