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Catherine Squires, CFRE named NIU vice president for University Advancement

January 28, 2015
Catherine Squires, CFRE

Catherine Squires, CFRE

Northern Illinois University announced today the selection of alumna Catherine Squires, CFRE as vice president for University Advancement, reporting to NIU President Douglas D. Baker as a member of the university’s senior leadership team. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University and is scheduled to begin May 1, 2015.

“I embrace the opportunity to align my deep personal passion with strong professional experience to benefit the institution that helped launch that very success—my alma mater,” said Squires, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Music from NIU in 1980.

Squires will be responsible for the overall vision, leadership, strategy, and management of all fundraising and alumni relations activities on behalf of NIU. Working directly with President Baker and academic leadership, she will play a key role in institutional planning that integrates development and alumni relation strategies into the NIU’s overall academic and fiscal plans, soliciting the private financial support necessary to advance NIU’s strategic priorities.

“Moving to the next level in university advancement requires anticipating the needs of the future while simultaneously meeting current challenges. It requires strong leadership, a strategic mindset, an entrepreneurial skill set and the ability to energize our stakeholders through passion and personal commitment,” Baker said. “Catherine possesses each of these skills in addition to having NIU in her DNA as an alumna of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.”

Squires returns to NIU after serving nearly seven years as vice president of the Tufts Medical Center Trust, where she was the chief development executive for Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children, the principal teaching hospitals of Tufts University School of Medicine. At Tufts, she led the growth of the annual fundraising program from $9 to $14 million as a member of the senior leadership team.  She also served as a volunteer member of the organization’s ethics committee, a lifelong professional interest.

From 2005-2008, Squires served as the chief advancement officer of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, where she led staff, volunteers and interns responsible for $11.5 million in annual giving and served as spokesperson in leading the marketing and public affairs functions of the organization.

Squires spent six years as vice president of development for Oak Brook-based Advocate Charitable Foundation, where she personally solicited major, planned and principal gifts as part of Advocate’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, which exceeded its goal of $125 million one year early with cumulative contributions of $132 million. Prior to that, she served as director of development at the Youth Campus of Park Ridge for five years following 15 years of service with the Illinois Chamber Symphony in St. Charles, where she was a founding member of the board of directors, personnel and operations manager and later, executive director.

“We were looking for someone to carry on our rich tradition of excellence in University Advancement, someone who will leverage what has been built and take it to yet another level,” said NIU Foundation Board Chair Dennis Barsema, who chaired the search committee. “We are confident that Catherine is that person. Add in the fact that she is an NIU Huskie, and it’s a perfect fit!”

NIU Foundation logoOutgoing Vice President for University Advancement Mike Malone will work with Squires during the leadership transition from May 1 until his June 30 retirement. Squires would also serve as president/CEO of the NIU Foundation after a special election by the foundation’s board of directors following Malone’s departure from that post.

In addition to her principal responsibilities, Squires will represent NIU as she continues volunteer board service with the Association of Fundraising Professionals International (AFP) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA).  AFP International is a worldwide association of fundraising professionals and the standard-bearer of ethical and professional practice. Squires was recently recruited to the ADA following a governance reorganization, and brings board-level fundraising expertise to the nation’s preeminent organization devoted to research, advocacy and improved outcomes for people with diabetes.