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Carthage has hired Philip Hood, a candidate with exemplary leadership skills and fundraising acumen, as its next vice president for advancement. Tasked with elevating the College’s advancement efforts and carrying forward the ambitious Light that Travels campaign, Mr. Hood’s expertise promises to propel future initiatives.

Mr. Hood brings to Carthage an exceptional background. As vice president at Lake Forest College, he successfully led the largest campaign in that school’s history, raising nearly $150 million and surpassing an initial goal of $125 million. Under Mr. Hood’s leadership, the advancement program achieved national recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for its overall improvement.

Philip Hood, Vice President for Advancement Mr. Hood has also held senior leadership positions at Illinois College, Northfield Mount Hermon, and most recently SSM Health, where he has led six affiliated foundations located across central and southern Wisconsin. Earlier in his career, he served as a major and planned gift officer at Mayo Clinic, the University of Illinois Foundation, and Gustavus Adolphus College.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Phil Hood as my partner in securing truly substantial new resources for Carthage students, and I am confident that he will see the Light that Travels campaign through to its apex,” says President John Swallow. “From his decade of experience at the vice presidential level to his undergraduate roots at a Lutheran college, Phil’s background prepares him extraordinarily well for impact at Carthage.”

Drawing on firsthand experience as both a student and senior administrator at Midwest liberal arts colleges, Mr. Hood finds the setting incredibly fulfilling. Known as a culture-first leader, he has fostered an inclusive environment through staff recruiting, training, and programming, and deftly supported key stakeholders including alumni and parents.

“Carthage has never been stronger than at this moment, and Phil has both the talent and vision to build on that legacy,” says David C. Wiers ’98, chair of the Advancement Committee and secretary of the Carthage Board of Trustees. “Phil understands our mission and advancement’s role in supporting student success. I know his transformative approach will empower our talented staff and inspire Carthaginians for years to come.”

Scheduled to begin his duties at Carthage on July 8, Mr. Hood will dive headfirst into a $100 million campaign that went public last year. Determined to keep the College on its rising trajectory, leaders established three broad philanthropic priorities:

  • access to Carthage for students from more backgrounds through scholarships that offset the cost of tuition, internships, and study abroad;
  • program innovation to quickly develop and expand offerings in nursing, pre-health, engineering, business, and other high-demand fields;
  • sustained excellence to preserve time-honored programs by endowing professorships, upgrading facilities, and enhancing athletics and the arts.

Donors have already propelled Carthage nearly two-thirds of the way to that lofty goal. As of mid-June 2024, gifts and pledges total more than $65 million.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to join President Swallow, his leadership team, and the Carthage community,” says Mr. Hood. “We have immediate work to do, and I look forward to working with campus leadership, the advancement team, and the campus community in our outreach to alumni, parents, and other partners. Working together, we can continue to move Carthage forward and achieve new heights.”

Campaign dollars equip the College to keep its foot on the accelerator in an increasingly competitive higher education landscape.

While freshman enrollment nationwide fell 4.3 percent between 2019 and 2023, Carthage’s first-year classes grew by a remarkable 14 percent in that span. Notably, the most recent (fall 2023) incoming class set a record as the largest in school history.

Dedicated to affordability, the College instituted a 4-Year Graduation Guarantee for undergraduate students and introduced a new partnership that limits the cost of textbooks and other course materials. The Aspire Program, which recently earned national recognition for innovation in career services, compounds the value of a Carthage education.

As vice president, Mr. Hood succeeds Bridget Haggerty, who guided the Office of Advancement capably for the past two years. Building on relationships she’s developed in eight years on the staff, Ms. Haggerty will move into an important donor-facing position as Carthage’s senior advisor for principal gifts and campaign.

“Throughout her stellar career in fundraising, Bridget’s truest passion has always been in cultivating the relationships that lead to this level of giving,” says President Swallow.

Mr. Hood has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Luther College in Iowa and a master’s degree in management, strategy, and leadership from Michigan State University. His wife, Lorelee, is executive director of Froedtert Hospital Foundation and senior director at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Married nearly 25 years, the couple has two children.