Vice President of Development Inge Reichenbach, who championed Yale’s most recent fundraising drive to a record-breaking goal despite the worldwide economic recession, announced Tuesday that she will retire at the end of June.
One of the University’s eight highest-ranking officials, German native Reichenbach came to Yale in 2005 to launch and steer the Yale Tomorrow fundraising campaign through its five-year course. The effort ultimately exceeded its $3.5 billion target by $381 million, despite the lingering effects of a recession that hit the nation in the middle of the campaign. But just as the campaign’s start drew her to Yale, Reichenbach said that its conclusion signaled a good time for her to depart the University.
“I hope I made a contribution to Yale — I certainly enjoyed my time here,” Reichenbach told the News Tuesday night. “I am very proud of my staff here, and my heartfelt thanks go out to them. While I might be the more visible person, there have been many people who have contributed to the success of this campaign.”
University President Richard Levin said Reichenbach oversaw a successful fundraising campaign during the worst recession to hit the nation in 80 years. Her work will have “lasting benefits” for Yale, he said, and given the country’s economic circumstances was “truly remarkable.”
Yale will conduct an international search for her successor, Levin said, as is typical when replacing a high-level administrator. He added that internal promotions to the post from within the Office of Development will also be considered.
“She really has done a great job of building up a strong team in the development office and nurturing and advancing the careers of several people in the office for future leadership,” he said.
Reichenbach began her tenure at Yale after spending nine years as Cornell’s vice president of alumni affairs and development. While at Cornell, Reichenbach directed the most successful capital campaign the university had ever seen and her departure was widely viewed as a successful recruitment for Levin and a disappointment in Ithaca.
During her time at Yale, Reichenbach conducted another campaign of unprecedented success. Levin said the completion of the Yale Tomorrow fundraising drive — which raised funds for campus construction, endowed professorships and scholarships, and international efforts across all of the University’s schools — was a natural time for Reichenbach to finish her work at the University.
Reichenbach said she is not sure whether she will retire completely in June, as she is involved with several international fundraising efforts that are unrelated to Yale. But she added that continuing to work at Yale would require an additional seven to 10 year commitment — the time it takes to plan and execute a major capital campaign — which is more than she is able to invest.
Reichenbach expressed pride in the work that she and her staff had done over the course of the campaign, and she thanked those around her at Yale for her experience.
“I found the experience at Yale to be extremely interesting and rewarding,” Reichenbach said. “For me personally, it’s been a real privilege to be a part of it and to help a little bit by raising money.”
Reichenbach will officially retire on June 30, 2012.
CORRECTON: Nov. 16, 2011
An earlier version of this article misstated the date on which Reichenbach will officially retire.