University Advancement Vice President David Tiffany, who has also served as Executive Director of the Fredonia College Foundation, retired on Dec. 31, capping a higher education career that began in 1969.
Dr. David M. Tiffany retired on Dec. 31 after serving as Fredonia’s Vice President for University Advancement, as well as the Executive Director of the Fredonia College Foundation, since joining the university in 2005.
The university has selected Betty (Catania) Gossett, ’76, to serve as Interim Vice President and Executive Director. Ms. Gossett has served as Associate Vice President for University Development and Assistant Executive Director of the Fredonia College Foundation since 2008. She has been a member of the Advancement division since 2003. Ms. Gossett will oversee all areas of the Division of University Advancement, including Development and Foundation Relations, Alumni Affairs, and Marketing and Communications.
During his 10-year Fredonia tenure, Dr. Tiffany has strengthened the campus’ fund-raising, alumni relations, and marketing and communications initiatives. He provided leadership for the university’s $15 million “Doors to Success” capital campaign, which exceeded its goal by raising a record $16.7 million despite occurring during the Great Recession. Fundraising during his tenure has brought in over $23 million to fund student scholarships and strengthen academic programs.
In 2014, he received the Earle Hannel Outstanding Fundraising Executive award from the Western New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and was honored at the chapter’s annual National Philanthropy Day celebration.
“I am grateful for having had the chance to work with Dave Tiffany for the past decade and to see the impact of his work in so many aspects of our campus,” said Fredonia President Virginia Horvath. “He will be missed by us all.”
Tiffany’s career has spanned six decades, beginning in 1969 when he began teaching American history at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., after earning a bachelor’s degree in History from Dickinson College. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from Binghamton University, while spending several years in state and local politics.
In 1975, he joined the University of South Alabama as Associate Director of Governmental Research. There he served as a legislative liaison, directed the institutional research office and taught political science and American history classes. He moved to East Tennessee State University in the summer of 1981 where he held numerous administrative and academic responsibilities, ultimately earning the position of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. In the fall of 1985, he made the decision to change careers and move into fund-raising.
In July of 1987, Tiffany was named Vice President for University Advancement at Bemidji State University, as well as Executive Director of the university’s foundation. During his tenure, the foundation’s assets grew 11 fold, including a $750,000 gift he secured from the 3M Corporation, establishing the largest endowed chair in the Minnesota State University System at the time.
Associate Vice President for University Development Betty (Catania) Gossett, ’76, has been named Interim Vice President for the division and Executive Director of the foundation.
Tiffany moved to California University of Pennsylvania in 1999, where he increased foundation receipts and expanded student scholarships. He wrote and oversaw a grant of $750,000 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation that continued and expanded an innovative water quality and farmland habitat restoration program.
His reputation for growing fund-raising programs at public universities then led him to the College of New Jersey, where he served as chief fundraising officer for three years beginning in 2002. Foundation receipts increased from less than a million dollars to $2.6 million in two years, with the number of donors growing from just over 4,000 to nearly 5,300.
“It has been my honor to serve Fredonia and its students throughout these last 10 years,” the 73-year-old Tiffany said. “It has been wonderful to conclude my career at this fine university, and to witness and be a part of the substantial growth and transformation the campus has undergone during this time.”
“I have greatly enjoyed the camaraderie of my colleagues within the Advancement Division, the numerous volunteers within the Fredonia College Foundation and Alumni Association boards, and my many colleagues across the Fredonia campus,” he added. “My wife, Peggy, and I, look forward to remaining in this fine community in our retirement years and continuing to contribute to its success in many ways.”
Prior to joining Fredonia, Ms. Gossett worked for the Chautauqua County Private Industry Council (and its predecessor organizations), where she held a variety of roles during a 26-year tenure that culminated with her promotion to Director of Customer Service in 1997. She also served as Interim Director of the countywide employment and training agency in 1999.
“Fredonia is fortunate to have Ms. Gossett step into these leadership roles,” President Horvath added. “She has assumed increasingly responsible roles in University Advancement since joining Fredonia. She was instrumental in direct fundraising support for the Science Center and the growth of the Dallas K. Beal Legacy Society. She has the experience and relationships with donors to keep Fredonia moving forward in this time of transition. I am confident in her abilities and readiness for leading this important division, and I look forward to working with her in this new role.”