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Gary A. Evans ’57, one of the nation’s most accomplished and well-respected fundraising executives, will step down as vice president for development and college relations Dec. 31. His career includes more than 30 years of service to his alma mater and a decade in high-level positions at other institutions.

Evans will remain with the College as special assistant to President Arthur J. Rothkopf ’55, a part-time position in which he will undertake special assignments in support of Lafayette’s fundraising effort. James W. Dicker ’85, director of development, will succeed Evans as vice president for development and college relations Jan. 1.

Rothkopf made the announcement today (Monday, Nov. 18).

“Gary and Jim, both of whom are alumni of the College, have already devoted a combined total of roughly four-and-a-half decades of outstanding service as members of Lafayette’s administration and played major roles in the success of the recent Lafayette Leadership Campaign,” Rothkopf said. “The trustees and I welcome them to their new positions with enthusiasm and with every confidence that they will continue to make superb contributions to the advancement of our college.”

Evans has been Lafayette’s vice president for development and college relations since May 1991. This is his second stint as the College’s fundraising chief. He also served in the same post from 1970 to 1980.

Evans’ career is capped by his leadership of the largest and most ambitious fundraising campaign in Lafayette’s history. The spectacularly successful Lafayette Leadership Campaign, which ended in October 2001, raised $213 million, far exceeding its original goal of $143 million. The campaign enabled Lafayette to achieve a national reputation for academic excellence and solidify its standing among America’s top colleges and universities. As a result, the College has seen a dramatic increase in the academic qualifications of students applying for admission and has become more selective in admissions than ever before.

At a gathering of trustees and alumni to celebrate the campaign’s conclusion Evans was surprised by an announcement that donors had honored him by providing funds for a board room named for him and his wife, B.J., in Lafayette’s new Pfenning Alumni Center.

Dicker joined the development staff as assistant director of the Lafayette Annual Fund in 1988. He became director of the annual fund in 1991 and was named director of major gifts in 1995, as the College prepared to begin the Lafayette Leadership Campaign. He was a member of the campaign steering committee.

In 1996 he took on additional responsibilities as acting director of alumni affairs and in February 1997 was named director of development and alumni affairs.

Dicker is a member of CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Locally he is a member of the boards of directors of Hugh Moore Historical Park and Museums and Two Rivers Chamber of Commerce.

Evans, a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., earned a bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude with a major in history and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation he worked at Bell Telephone for three years, then joined the Lafayette staff in 1960 as assistant director of admissions.

In 1963 Evans became director of admissions and student financial aid. In 1967 he was named director of development and alumni affairs and in 1970 became vice president for development and college relations. He completed Harvard Business School’s Educational Management program.

During his time away from Lafayette, 1980 to 1991, Evans served five years as vice president for resource development at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and five years as vice chancellor for development and university relations at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In September 1990 he became senior vice president of the consulting firm Barnes & Roche, but returned to Lafayette less than a year later.

In 1988 Evans was elected to a five-year term on Lafayette’s board of trustees, and served until he returned to the College as vice president. He was member of the trustees’ committee on athletics and student affairs and committee on college relations.

A prominent figure in national fundraising organizations, Evans teaches seminars for college and university trustees through the Association of Governing Boards. He has been a member of the faculty of the Williamsburg Development Institute since 1979 and has taught at Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management and the Harvard University Seminar for New Presidents. He is author of several articles and book chapters on fundraising.

A former trustee of CASE, he chaired the organization’s national assembly in 1984 and served on CASE task forces on ethics in institutional advancement and matching gifts. In 1998 Evans was honored by the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives during the chapter’s celebration of National Philanthropy day.

Evans has also played key leadership roles in many Lehigh Valley organizations. He is vice president of the Children’s Home of Easton, Inc., a member of the board of directors of Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, and an officer of First Presbyterian Church in Easton. He has served as president and director of Two Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce.

Evans and his wife, B.J., live on College Hill. They are the parents of three grown children, Karen, Steven, and Daniel.

Dicker is an Easton native and 1981 graduate of Easton Area High School. He holds a bachelor of arts degree with a major in government and law from Lafayette and was founding president of the College’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national honor society for men and women studying political science. An outstanding wrestler, he won four varsity letters and was team captain for two years. As a senior he was named Lafayette’s top scholar-athlete and best athlete. He was also head resident assistant.

Following graduation he worked for Capital Analysts, Inc., Roadway Express, and the insurance agency Kressler, Wolff & Miller, Easton, before returning to Lafayette as an administrator.

Dicker and his wife, Mandy, live in Coopersburg. They have three children, Matthew, Michael, and Caroline.

Categorized in: Alumni