Blacksburg native and Cornell vice president for alumni affairs and development Charles Phlegar to be vice president for advancement
April 20, 2015
Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands has appointed Charles D. Phlegar to be the university’s first vice president for advancement. Reporting July 1, Phlegar will head a new unit formed by the merger of alumni relations, development, and university relations.
Phlegar currently serves as chief fundraiser for Cornell University and leads their current campaign, which is on track to raise $6 billion.
“I am delighted to welcome Charlie back to his alma mater and hometown. His proven fundraising track record will be essential as we move forward with a funding model heavily dependent on philanthropy. He has an extraordinary track record at major research universities, including Cornell which ranked number five worldwide last year in private philanthropy,” said Timothy D. Sands, president.
During his nine year tenure at Cornell, Phlegar has more than doubled annual private income. Cornell raised more than $546 million in private gifts during fiscal year 2013-14.
“Charlie’s impact on our great university cannot be overstated,” said Cornell President David J. Skorton. “Charlie was the first person I hired when I came to Cornell, and I have valued his counsel and partnership every day since. While we will miss him, I am happy that he is heading home to Virginia Tech, an exceptional institution where he has such deep, personal roots.”
“Working for Virginia Tech is a dream coming true. I feel doubly blessed to rejoin a university and community on the rise and with so much more potential for greatness. President Sands’ leadership and visionary approach would appeal to any educator or administrator who wants to make a difference. I think all of my career has prepared me for this and I cannot wait to get started. Virginia Tech is such a dynamic place - the kind of university our world needs right now,” said Phlegar.
Phlegar grew up in Blacksburg, and received a bachelor of science degree in business management in 1978 and master of science degree in education administration in 1987, both from Virginia Tech. “It’s fair to say that I will bring orange and maroon passion to this job,” added Phlegar.
While part of Cornell’s executive leadership team, Phlegar served on the investment committee managing $6.3 billion in assets. He was a member of the Cornell Tech Steering Committee that secured the winning bid to build a new campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, which attracted interest from universities around the world. “Our new advancement model will be instrumental in realizing such transformational opportunities for Virginia Tech and our partners,” added Sands.
During his career, Phlegar has made his mark at major university fundraising operations. Prior to his time at Cornell, he held positions of senior associate vice president and interim vice president for development and alumni relations at The Johns Hopkins Institutions where he organized and implemented their $3.5 billion campaign. As vice president for development at University of South Carolina, he launched that university’s first capital campaign. Beginning with a $200 million goal, it concluded at more than $500 million.
He was campaign director for East Carolina University’s capital campaign. While working at Virginia Tech from 1983 to 1987, Phlegar was assistant director of athletics for sports marketing and assistant director of the alumni association overseeing chapter operations.
Phlegar has served on the board of directors for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), was chair and founder of the CASE 50 Top 50 Fundraising Institutions in Higher Education, and chaired CASE 2014 national conference.
He is married to Karen C. Phlegar, a 1988 graduate of Virginia Tech, and has three children.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.