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Winter 2009 | Volume 32, Number 1 | Campus

Tom Box Becomes Advancement VP

O'Connell in interim athletic role

Tom Box, vice president for university advancement
Tom Box

As Seattle Pacific University’s athletic director for a decade, Tom Box experienced hundreds of highlights from undefeated seasons to Final Fours and Elite Eights. The emotions of the job were as powerful as they were personal. It was, he says, “exhilarating.”

Now Box takes the helm as Seattle Pacific’s new vice president for university advancement. He replaces Bob McIntosh, under whose leadership, says President Philip Eaton, “we completed the largest fundraising campaign in SPU history and added huge numbers of new donors.” In July 2008, McIntosh assumed the position of special assistant to the president for real estate resources.

Eaton believes Box is an excellent match for his new role. “Tom brings passion for SPU’s vision, extensive connections with the SPU constituency, and strong leadership experience,” he says. “He also has fresh excitement for broadening the University’s base of support and accomplishing the goals of our strategic plan, 2014: A Blueprint for Excellence.”

A winner of the President’s Award for Excellence in 2004, Box has 13 years of experience in fundraising, including nine as SPU’s director of development. “I’m amazed by the accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni,” he says. “It will be my privilege to lift those up so that donors will want to support the great plans ahead.”

Interim athletic director for 2008ā€“09 is Erin O’Connell. At SPU since 2003, she has served as assistant athletic director for compliance and as senior woman administrator. “Iā€˜m pleased that Erin was prepared to assume leadership of the Athletic Department,” says Eaton. “The work of Falcon athletics moves forward, and continuity is important.”

O’Connell welcomes the challenge. “I’ve worked closely with our coaches and student-athletes over the past five years,” she says, “and I am invested in their success.

“We’re entering an interesting time. SPU will chair the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) for the next two years. We will lead the GNAC through a membership expansion that could potentially include Canadian institutions.”

—Photo by Daniel Sheehan

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