Western Maryland College narrows list of finalists for vice president's position Top fund-raising job drew 85 applications

July 05, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Western Maryland College officials are in the final stages of selecting a successor to Richard F. Seaman, vice president of institutional advancement.

Seaman, who has been at the college since 1991, in January announced his plans to retire. He said he will remain at the school until a successor is found.

The college has received applications from 85 candidates seeking the top fund-raising position at the school, according to Donald W. Schumaker Jr., spokesman for the liberal arts college.

A search committee of faculty and staff members has been reviewing applications since April and has whittled the number of prospective candidates to "a handful of finalists," Schumaker said.

The committee is expected to make a decision early next month.

As they immersed themselves in the selection process, search committee members had specific qualities in mind for the new vice president.

"The college is looking for someone who has relevant and extensive fund-raising experience, someone who has a background in higher education," Schumaker said. "The successful candidate will have good leadership qualities and creative ideas to take [the college] into the next century."

The vice president of institutional advancement oversees about 30 employees and is responsible for fund raising, development, public information and alumni affairs.

"It's one of the most prestigious positions" at Western Maryland, Schumaker said. "When prospective donors are approached by the college, only the president is more important in terms of visibility."

Fund-raising efforts include the school's annual giving program and "The Defining Moment," a campaign to raise $40 million for capital improvements, a state-of-the-art science center and scholarships. The college gives about $13 million in grant assistance to students each year.

The Defining Moment campaign kicked off in September 1996 and will run until Dec. 31, 1999. Nearly $33 million has been pledged.

Schumaker said the college will negotiate with the new vice president to determine salary. He said the amount will be based on work experience and other factors. He said he has no idea as to the salary range or what Seaman, 65, is paid.

Seaman, a native of Oberlin, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Oberlin College in 1955. After graduation, he worked for his alma mater as an admissions counselor. In 1956, he joined the Air Force.

He served in the Air Force for three years and then worked as a wage and salary administrator for an insurance company. Seaman returned to Oberlin College in 1960 and worked as assistant to the president for four years.

In 1964, Seaman became executive assistant to the president. Three years later, he began his fund-raising career as director of development.

In 1971, Seaman became associate vice president and director of development at Brown University in Providence, R.I. He worked there for 13 years.

From 1984 to 1988, he was vice president for development and alumni relations at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He left to become vice president of college relations at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Western Maryland asked him to become vice president of institutional advancement in 1991. He accepted the position in December of that year and moved to Westminster with his wife, Susan. The couple has three grown children and two grandchildren.

An avid golfer, Seaman said he plans to spend a lot of time playing when he retires. He would also like to continue serving as a volunteer.

Seaman has served as president of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce board of directors and is a member of the Westminster Rotary. He also has been active with the Independent College Fund of Maryland.

Pub Date: 7/05/98

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