News Post

Introducing Lesley Cole
Introducing Lesley Cole
Lesley Cole

St. Andrew's-Sewanee School is pleased to announce the appointment of Lesley Cole to the position of Director of Advancement (formerly Director of Development). Lesley will join the SAS community in December.

Ms. Cole has an extensive background in the non-profit and corporate sectors and brings skills in leadership, program development, goal setting, and data analysis. Most importantly, she understands relationships are at the heart of inspiring philanthropy.

In her current position as Director of Development for Oglethorpe University, Ms. Cole worked closely with the vice president to set the strategic direction of the Development and Alumni Relations department. In June, the University successfully concluded a $20 million capital campaign. Ms. Cole contributed to those efforts by collaborating to define the campaign's scope; identifying lead and major gift prospects; providing staff support to the campaign steering committee; and soliciting five and six-figure gifts. This work closely followed her involvement in Oglethorpe's largest capital, and first comprehensive, campaign in 2013, which exceeded its $50 million goal ahead of schedule. In her previous position as Director of the Annual Fund at Oglethorpe, Ms. Cole managed multiple record-setting Annual Funds.

Before coming to Oglethorpe, Ms. Cole served as Lakeview Academy's Director of Development. At Lakeview, Ms. Cole worked with the head of school and trustees to build a comprehensive fundraising program and define the work of the board and the advancement committee. During her tenure, annual giving increased three-fold, and more than 50% of a capital campaign goal was secured in six months.

Early in her career, in the financial services industry, Ms. Cole successfully managed domestic and international projects which resulted in multi-million-dollar contracts for National Data Corporation.

The search committee was impressed by the balance Lesley brought with her interest in metrics and management and a commitment to cultivating donor relationships. Per Lesley, "I derive great joy in meeting people, hearing their stories, and listening beyond these stories to help people define and fulfill their personal philanthropic plans."

Ms. Cole is a graduate and active alumna of Auburn University and an engaged participant in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She enjoys travel and hiking and is currently working on her first novel. In addition to her Georgia residences, she has lived and worked in Toronto and London.