Today we talk with Sam Duplessis about his career change from MGO at the Wharton School to Director of Advancement at the Pennsylvania libraries (both positions within the University of Pennsylvania). He discusses the differences he both expected and didn’t between being an individual contributor and leader of a team. We also have the treat of learning more about the libraries at Penn and the reputational risk that comes with working alongside such treasures.
Sam is the Director of Advancement at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, which has over 400 full time staff who manage 14 departmental librairies. His team includes two gift officers, a development communications person, a data/research person, and a development assistant. His team manages four boards and raises approximately $10m a year in cash, pledges, and gifts of materials such as books, manuscripts, and photographs- all with no natural constituency! Whereas most schools and centers at Penn have alumni, the Libraries has no graduates and counts on campus partners to identify prospects who are interested in their funding priorities and engagement opportunities.
Prior to this role, Sam was a Major Gift Officer at the Wharton School, covering alumni living in the southeast and Texas. Sam also worked as an MGO at Bryn Mawr College and spent five years in the admissions office at the University of Chicago.