New associate vice chancellor joins Vanderbilt’s development and alumni relations office

Christopher P. Toft, a leading fundraiser in higher education and health care in Chicago has been named associate vice chancellor for university development at Vanderbilt.

Toft will oversee development programs for the College of Arts and Science, the Blair School of Music, the Divinity School, the School of Engineering, Peabody College, the Law School and the Owen Graduate School of Management, as well as regional major gifts, the Parents and Grandparents Campaign and the Vanderbilt Fund.

"We’re pleased to have Chris on Vanderbilt’s Development and Alumni Relations team," said Randy Smith, executive associate vice chancellor. "His expertise and background will help us achieve Vanderbilt’s philanthropic goals, particularly as we focus on scholarships and financial aid."

Toft most recently was responsible for all fundraising initiatives at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine, which is the nation’s largest medical school, and the University of Illinois Medical Center. He served as chief development officer for medicine and associate dean and was also a member of the senior management team for the University of Illinois Foundation.

"I am delighted to be joining Vanderbilt at this time," Toft said. "The launch of The Commons and the announcement of the $100 million undergraduate scholarship initiative are further signals of the university’s accomplishment and ambition, and I will enjoy carrying that message to Vanderbilt’s alumni and supporters."

At the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine, Toft led staff in three Illinois cities toward realization of its $250 million goal, a component of the University of Illinois’ Brilliant Futures campaign. In addition, he secured $25 million in new philanthropic commitments during the 2008 fiscal year for the college.

Toft worked from 2004 to 2007 at Loyola University Medical Center as associate vice president and director of principal gifts. He played a major role in planning the center’s $300 million comprehensive campaign. The prior three years he served as director of development and then director of external relations at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, a network of teaching hospitals.

Toft, who is a native Chicagoan, spent five years in development at Northwestern University, working on the university’s annual giving program before being named associate director of major gifts at Northwestern Law School.

The 1989 graduate of Kenyon College has been actively involved in reunion planning and other alumni activities at his alma mater. Toft earned a master of fine arts in creative writing in 1995 from Eastern Washington University and subsequently has published short stories, poems, play and book reviews. In addition, he is a singer-songwriter with the Chicago band The Green Fuse.

Media Contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS

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