Las Vegas, N.M. – Theresa Law is the new vice president for advancement at Highlands University.
Law has more than 20 years of successful college, health care and nonprofit fundraising experience ranging from managing a $200,000 annual campaign to directing a $60-million multiyear capital campaign.
“Vice President Law was selected after a search that attracted dozens of highly qualified applicants throughout the nation and the world,” said Highlands University President Sam Minner. “Theresa’s deep background in fundraising and alumni affairs will greatly enhance Highlands’ revenue streams and relationships with alums and friends. I am confident that she will significantly improve our outcomes and be a terrific leader of advancement and the HU Foundation. I am thrilled Theresa has joined us.”
Minner said Law is a dedicated professional who will add to the wisdom of the leadership team guiding Highlands into the future.
Law said: “I want to see the support that Highlands receives from alumni and friends grow dramatically. I think this support is critical for the future of the university because the state support we receive cannot meet all our needs – from funding the necessities to the ability to grow and take new paths.”
Law is a Jeannette, Pennsylvania native who earned her bachelor’s degree in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame and her juris doctor, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School.
She was admitted to the State of Illinois Bar in 1994 and practiced law as a supervising attorney for Association House Legal Services in Chicago, where she represented domestic violence victims and managed fundraising for the nonprofit.
Law transitioned to a philanthropy career in 1998, joining the national office of the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago where she worked in major gifts to fund Alzheimer’s research.
Most recently, Law was the vice president of college advancement at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania, where she completed the final phase of a $60-million capital campaign, the largest in the college’s history.
Previous positions include serving as development director at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, director of major gifts and grants at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and executive director of philanthropy at WellSpan Health in York, Pennsylvania.
“What’s rewarding about philanthropy work is you get to see humans at their very best because for the most part, donor’s give joyfully from the heart to the causes that are meaningful to them,” Law said. “It’s also gratifying because you see the tangible outcomes of your work, whether it’s scholarships that help students pursue their education, a new research building at a university, or a new pediatric ward in a hospital.”
Law said her positive impressions of Highlands when she visited campus for her interview solidified her desire to work for the university.
“I am very impressed with the commitment everyone I’ve met at Highlands has to the students, and how we can give these students the best opportunity for success while they are here. It’s also important to me that Highlands is providing the opportunity and access to education to young people and adults that wouldn’t have it otherwise,” Law said.
She said she knows firsthand the transformational power of scholarships and a college education.
“I grew up in a small rural working-class community and didn’t even think about college until a teacher encouraged me to take the SAT. I qualified as a National Merit Finalist and applied for several scholarships. If not for scholarships I wouldn’t have gone to college, and they made it possible for me to go to one of the best institutions in the country. Notre Dame expanded my horizons in ways I couldn’t even imagine including pursuing law school,” Law said.
She said her legal expertise has been extremely helpful in fundraising.
“It’s important to have knowledge of tax laws and estate laws that affect donor’s gifts,” Law said.
Law taught as adjunct faculty in the Fundraising Management Certificate Program at Goucher College and presented professional development programs for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. She also held leadership positions with AHP.
The longtime Rotarian said she is looking forward to joining the Las Vegas Rotary Club and reaching out to the community in other ways.