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Carleton Names Thomas Bonner as Vice President for External Relations

February 20, 2014

Thomas Bonner, current vice president for advancement at Macalester College, has accepted the position as Carleton College’s vice president for external relations.

“I’m delighted that Thomas has agreed to bring his remarkable set of professional skills and personal qualities to Carleton,” Carleton President Steven G. Poskanzer said. “I know he will forge powerful connections with alumni and friends of the College and—as he has done at every institution where he has worked—bring our fundraising and outreach efforts to new levels of success.”

At Macalester since 2005, Bonner has overseen all aspects of the alumni relations, communications, and fund raising programs, as well as board development and engagement. He provided staff leadership for Macalester’s $150 million Step Forward campaign that concluded in December 2011. The campaign raised more than $156 million and funded the Leonard Center, Markim Hall, Music and Arts Commons, and Alumni House renovation—along with more than $30 million for faculty support and $38 million for need-based financial aid.

Prior to joining Macalester, Bonner held various advancement positions during a 14-year span at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., including seven years as vice president. At Sewanee he played a principal role in organizing capital campaigns with goals of $180 million and $107 million. Sewanee’s annual fund doubled in gift income and achieved 50 percent alumni participation under his direction.

A native of Mississippi, Bonner is married to Debbie Kenyon Bonner and is the father of two daughters. 

“I could not be more excited and honored to join the Carleton community. I have long admired the pride, devotion and generosity of Carleton alumni to their alma mater,” Bonner said. “It will be a privilege to join President Poskanzer, the Board of Trustees, the alumni board and the very talented staff in external relations to further strengthen one of the world’s best liberal arts colleges.”

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