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SUNY Potsdam Welcomes David Davin as New Vice President for College Advancement

October 6, 2022

David Davin Joins SUNY Potsdam as VP for Advancement & Potsdam College Foundation Executive Director 

David Davin is the new vice president for college advancement at SUNY Potsdam, where he will also serve as executive director of the Potsdam College Foundation.

Following a national search, SUNY Potsdam has named David Davin as the institution’s vice president for college advancement and executive director of the Potsdam College Foundation. 

He brings with him a wealth of experience, most recently serving as executive director of institutional advancement and the foundation at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Ill. A successful fundraiser himself, Davin has led annual and major giving programs, alumni and stewardship initiatives, successful campaign efforts and database transitions in his career in higher education.  

We are proud to welcome David Davin to the SUNY Potsdam family, and to our leadership team. His extensive experience in philanthropy and relationship building will be critical to our ongoing efforts to deepen ties with alumni and supporters, while bolstering our academic mission and enhancing the student experience,” Officer-in-Charge Dr. Philip T. Neisser ’79 said.  

“The Advancement division, in collaboration with the Foundation and Alumni boards and the many alumni, donors and supporters of the College, has been extraordinarily impactful to this special institution, raising the bar of what is possible from a philanthropic and engagement perspective time and time again. That has helped continue to ensure success for this institution and the students and alumni who depend upon it, and have for over 200 years,” Davin said.  

As Davin joins campus, he has been able to meet with faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and supporters, and recently took part in his first meetings of the Potsdam College Foundation Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association Board of Trustees. 

If this institution is to not only survive, but thrive, for another 200-plus years, it will require us to keep raising the bar of what is possibleand I, along with countless colleagues, volunteers, donors and other stakeholders, will seek to do just that. What that will translate to is more student support for success and graduation, more institutional support to continue offering a cutting-edge, world-class liberal arts education that speaks to the needs of today while respecting our past, and more innovative ways to engage our alumni and communities,” Davin said.  

Before joining SUNY Potsdam, Davin oversaw leadership giving, grant development, advancement and foundation operations at Elgin Community College. He had previously served as executive director of the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation, and in various roles at his alma mater, the University of Southern California, ultimately becoming the director of regional and engagement programs there. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from USC, and is currently completing his doctorate in education, policy, organization and leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

“I didn’t just land here. I was looking for a special institution like SUNY Potsdam, seeking out a special opportunity with intention. I left a great institution where we were having a lot of success, with a president I really revered, to take a risk to move across the country to tackle a new challenge, because I sensed that SUNY Potsdam is special,” Davin said. “SUNY Potsdam is placing an emphasis on in-person, high-touch, cutting-edge liberal arts education at a time when many institutions are retreating from that. As a result, there are many alumni and friends who have stepped up over the years to support this institution, and, I know, will again as we chart our path to the future. SUNY Potsdam is a college with many storied chapters of history already written… I want to be a part of writing the next chapters.” 

Davin joins campus following the retirement of Salvatore (Sal) Cania Jr. ’79 & ’82. Professor of Biology Dr. Walt Conley chaired the search committee, which also included members of the Foundation Board and Alumni Board, Ron Fishbeck ’80 and Sally Partner ’78, along with representation from across campus. 

About the Potsdam College Foundation: 

Established in 1968, the Potsdam College Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to stewarding the continued growth of private giving in support of SUNY Potsdam. Its mission is to secure and manage private financial support and other gifts that build a sustainable future for SUNY Potsdam. To learn more, visit 

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit 

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