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Concordia’s Board of Governors renews Paul Chesser’s mandate for five years

The vice-president of University Advancement and his team have successfully led the university’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts since 2018
June 20, 2023

Smiling man with short, greying hair, wearing a suit and tie. Paul Chesser: “The 50th anniversary is an exciting opportunity to tell the world about Concordia.”

Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, returned to his alma mater in 2018 to become Concordia’s vice-president of University Advancement, the first home-grown graduate to hold the position.

Chesser arrived midway through the university’s most ambitious fundraising effort to date, the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now. Under his leadership, the campaign team helped the university reach its $250-million goal six months prior to the planned end date and extend its fundraising target to $350 million to coincide with Concordia’s 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2024-25.

Given those and University Advancement’s many other recent accomplishments, at its June 15 meeting Concordia’s Board of Governors renewed Chesser’s mandate for another five years, until 2028.

“The evaluation committee unanimously concluded that Paul is a great ambassador for the university, with a deep understanding of fundraising and extensive knowledge of advancement,” says Concordia President Graham Carr, who chaired the committee.

“He is an excellent communicator and a strong team player — no surprise given his background — eager to support the academic and research mission of the university. Not only has Paul served Concordia well to this point in his first term, but he is also the right person to lead the ambitious next phase of our university’s advancement portfolio.”

Campaign successes and more

Chesser, a native of North Bay, Ontario, was a standout defensive end for the Stingers football team from 1989 to 1993. He won the J.P. Metras Trophy as the outstanding lineman in Canadian university football in his last season and was inducted into the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

After beginning his fundraising career at Concordia, he went on to leadership roles at Queen’s, Carleton and McGill universities.

As vice-president of University Advancement since 2018, Chesser oversees a team of about 70 professionals working in development, alumni engagement and advancement services.

The sector’s notable achievements over that time included several pandemic-related efforts, such as launching CU @ Home to better engage the community, as well as supporting nearly 500 public events, growing the university’s sustained fundraising revenue and number of annual donors, and securing a record number of gifts of $1 million or more.

“Concordia is leading the way in many important domains, from cybersecurity to sustainability, arts and culture to business technology and transforming educational opportunities through work integrated learning for all. The office of advancement is positioned to support these ambitions and continue Concordia’s leadership as a next-gen university,” Chesser says.

And now he’s helping the university move forward on its upcoming gold anniversary.

“The 50th anniversary of my alma mater is an exciting opportunity to engage our community better than ever before and tell the world about the great initiatives happening at Concordia,” he says.

“I am excited about the possibilities for Concordia in the next five years.”

Learn more about the
Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now.



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