Dr. Mary Knight Named as Harper's New Chief Advancement Officer

PALATINE, IL - The Harper College Board of Trustees has approved hiring Dr. Mary Knight as the College's new Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director of the Harper College Educational Foundation. Dr. Knight most recently served as the Chief Development Officer for the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

In her new role at Harper, Dr. Knight will oversee all aspects of the College's public and private sector fundraising and alumni programs. Last year, the Harper College Educational Foundation raised more than $900,000 to support the College and awarded scholarships to 320 students.

"Given state and federal cuts in financial aid programs, the Foundation is playing a critical role in ensuring finances are not a barrier to student success at Harper," said Harper College President Dr. Ken Ender. "Dr. Knight not only has a strong record of successful fundraising, but she has a passion for higher education and its role of transforming lives and building community partnerships."

While at the Mayo Clinic Health System, Knight oversaw a $12.5 million campaign for a hospital expansion, an $8 million campaign to build a new emergency department and a $2 million campaign to build a corporate child development center.

Knight has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri, a Master's Degree in Music Theory from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Prior to her career in philanthropy, Dr. Knight was an Assistant Professor of Music at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL and served as a Department Chair.

"Dr. Knight comes to us with a wealth of experience working with nonprofits and directing activities for significant organizations, which will serve her well at Harper," said Tom Wischhusen, Chair of the Harper College Educational Foundation Board. "Harper's Foundation already is highly regarded, but Dr. Knight will bring a new set of eyes, allowing us to take a fresh look at our mission, our goals and the ways in which we can serve students with scholarships and new programs."

Dr. Knight replaces Cathy Brod, who left Harper earlier this year to serve in a similar position at the College of DuPage.