The University’s Division of Alumni Affairs and Development announced the appointment of Christopher Marshall as Cornell’s associate vice president for alumni affairs on March 12. Marshall is the current executive director of the Lehigh University Alumni Association.
He will assume the position on June 1. The appointment comes after the former associate vice president stepped done earlier this semester.
Marshall said that he is “extremely excited and honored to have been considered, let alone accepted by the Alumni Affairs office.” Marshall will be responsible for organizing the over 200,000 Cornell alumni in order to improve Cornell alumni involvement.
Charles Phlegar, vice president for Alumni Affairs and Development, said “I am looking forward to working with Christopher and utilizing his abilities in our office. Having met with him I can see that we share the same vision for alumni affairs.”
After coming to campus in January and meeting with several alumni and members of the administration, including President David Skorton, Marshall says he looks forward to settling in.
“Cornell is a great school with phenomenal leadership and role models in President David Skorton and Charlie Phlegar,” Marshall said.
Marshall will be the first non-Cornellian to hold the position in Alumni Affairs. Marshall said, “I am making every effort to become completely absorbed into what it means to be a Cornellian.”
Marshall will primarily be working with recent graduates and upperclassmen in hopes of building stronger ties between the University and graduates. Marshall said, “I will be working with the both undergraduates and graduated students to help build a stronger alumni community.”
The announcement that Marshall will take over as associate VP of alumni affairs has been met with excitement from students as well.
Megan Cross ’08 said, “As a soon-to-be-graduate, I am glad to hear that Cornell has taken the time and effort to find such a well-qualified administrator to be taking up this responsibility. Given his track record I am looking forward to seeing what improvements Mr. Marshall has to add. I am also thrilled to hear that he is so enthusiastic about not only working for Cornell, but that is working towards becoming an honorary Cornellian himself.”
Marshall joins Cornell after serving for seven years as executive director of Lehigh’s Alumni Association, which shares a similar mission to Cornell’s Office of Alumni Affairs in keeping alumni connected and engaged with their university. Under Marshall’s direction, Lehigh alumni office received four Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence awards for alumni relations programs.
Phlegar said, “Chris will be the go-to guy for alumni affairs and I am happy to give him the reins because he has shown his capabilities at Lehigh University.”
From 2004 to 2007, Marshall also served as president of the Association of Private Colleges and University Alumni Directors, a group of 40 peer institutions from throughout the United States, where he led the effort to develop an online benchmarking and assessment tool to measure successful alumni relations programs.
Marshall graduated from Lehigh University. After graduating, he worked as a head coach of Lehigh’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs. During his 12-year tenure, his teams won five Patriot League Team Championship titles and he was recognized eight times as the Patriot League Coach of the Year.
“I am hoping to add my expertise to the current system to bring it from good to great,” Marshall said.