New director for Alumni Affairs and Development
By Wade Kearley
Penny Blackwood is Memorial’s new director of Alumni
Affairs and Development.
Memorial’s Board of Regents has ended a three-year search with the appointment of Dr. Penny Blackwood as the new director of Alumni Affairs and Development. The appointment was made at the board’s Feb. 2 meeting. She will officially assume her office on April 3, 2006, taking the reins from Dr. Dale Foster who, for the past 18 months, has served as interim director.
Dr. Blackwood graduated with her B.Sc. from Memorial in 1988 before going on to earn her M.Sc. and PhD in social psychology from the University of Western Ontario, where she also taught full-time as an instructor.
With her doctorate in hand, Dr. Blackwood followed opportunity to the United States where she was actively involved in higher education research. Her findings were used as the basis to inform higher education policy and practice in Pennsylvania, the state where she also taught psychology as an adjunct professor.
In 1999 Dr. Blackwood went through a career shift of sorts. Recognizing the significant positive impact that fundraising and development can have on students and on universities, she decided to move her career in that direction. She worked first in development with the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of PA, and most recently served as the director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Lafayette College in Easton, PA.
Dr. Blackwood has strong family ties to Memorial. Her parents, Dr. Chesley and Ms. Ann Blackwood, are both alumni and remain actively involved with the university. Her father can be seen on the greens every June as part of the Annual Alumni Golf Tournament. She also has two brothers who graduated from Memorial: one with a master’s degree in environmental geology, and the other who is now pursuing a PhD in Toronto.
When she returns in April, Dr. Blackwood will have her own family in tow, including her husband of 13 years, Dan Longtin and four-year-old Christopher. Dr. Blackwood writes that they are all “very excited” about coming home and serving the university as “Memorial and its alumni continue to grow and excel nationally and internationally.”