Charlie Phlegar promoted to senior vice president for advancement
Charlie Phlegar, who has worked to grow a culture of philanthropy and engagement throughout Hokie Nation while leading Virginia Tech’s efforts in fundraising, alumni relations, and communications and marketing since mid-2015, has been promoted to senior vice president for advancement by university President Tim Sands.
Under Phlegar’s leadership, Virginia Tech’s Advancement Division has repeatedly secured record amounts of new gifts and commitments from donors, including $268.5 million in fiscal 2021-22, more than twice as much as at the close of Phlegar’s first year on the job.
Additionally, recent accomplishments by the Advancement Division that Phlegar heads include achieving a 22 percent undergraduate alumni giving percentage this past fiscal year, coordinating numerous celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Virginia Tech’s 1872 founding, and making such promising progress on the Boundless Impact fundraising campaign that its dollar goal was increased by nearly 25 percent, to $1.872 billion.
“Charlie has been able to tap into our alumni’s profound loyalty, affection, and desire to support their alma mater because he feels these things as deeply as any Hokie,” Sands said. “The promotion reflects his expanded responsibilities resulting from our new communications and marketing model, and the remarkable impact of his leadership on our Advancement Division and Virginia Tech’s capacity to achieve our Beyond Boundaries vision for the university. I have great appreciation for his partnership with me over eight years, and look forward to building on our success.”
Phlegar, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech, began his advancement career at his alma mater. In the mid to late 1980s, he served as assistant director of athletics for sports marketing and later as assistant director of the alumni association, overseeing chapter operations. Phlegar went on to serve as campaign director at East Carolina University, vice president for development at the University of South Carolina, senior associate vice president and interim vice president for development and alumni relations at The Johns Hopkins Institutions, and vice president for alumni affairs and development at Cornell University, before returning to Virginia Tech.
During Phlegar’s nine-year tenure at Cornell, the university more than doubled its annual private income. He also served on the Cornell Tech Steering Committee that secured the winning bid to build a new campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island. Drawing from that experience, Phlegar has been deeply involved in Virginia Tech’s development of a graduate education-focused Innovation Campus in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. The campus is projected to eventually host approximately 750 master’s and 200 doctoral students and graduate 550 master’s and 50 doctoral candidates annually.
“Charlie’s impact on higher education is well known through his leadership and philanthropic successes at Johns Hopkins, Cornell University, and for the past eight years at his alma mater, Virginia Tech,” said former Cornell University President David Skorton, who is now president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges. “During our shared decade at Cornell University, I greatly valued his counsel and partnership. He is a transformational leader and has set the standard for development and campaign excellence. I am delighted for Virginia Tech that they will continue to have Charlie as a key member of their leadership team.”
Phlegar is a recognized leader in higher education advancement, with a history of leadership within the industry’s leading training and advocate group, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, known widely as CASE.
He said he was honored and grateful to have been promoted and for the recognition it affords the Advancement Division’s hard-working team.
“I care a great deal about this university and since returning have stressed to our Advancement Division how important it is to build and nurture a culture of philanthropy and engagement within our worldwide alumni community,” Phlegar said. “We’ve worked very hard on that while also looking to help develop partnerships with prominent, non-Hokie partners who share goals of leveraging learning and technology to improve industry and society. President Sands has outlined an ambitious vision of what Virginia Tech can become, and my team and I look forward to doing all we can to help bring that about.”