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Biography

Leigh Ann Jacobson is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with over 20 years of progressively responsible fund development experience. Her fundraising career began in 1999, when she joined Wilkes University as the Director of Development Services. In this role, Leigh Ann was the lead prospect manager for Wilkes University’s “Endow the Future” campaign. She also spearheaded the Wilkes Community Business Campaign and Legal Campaign. She served as a member of Information Technology Management Committee and as Lead Banner Data Steward for Advancement, with the responsibility to perform on-going training of all development, alumni, and university relations staff. While living in the Midwest for over 10 years, her career grew as a frontline fundraiser with a track record of securing seven-figure gifts. Throughout her varied roles, Leigh Ann identified emerging philanthropy trends and designs innovative fundraising and integrated multimedia marketing approaches to grow revenue and participation. Her specific areas of strength include comprehensive campaign strategy and operations, strategic marketing for donor acquisition and upgrade within annual giving, major and principal gifts solicitation, and leading a high performing team.

Leigh Ann rejoined Wilkes University in June 2019 to serve as the Director of Alumni Engagement & Annual Giving. In this role, she seeks to develop, manage, and integrate programs that engage alumni and donors in creative and relevant ways as resources for Wilkes University and to convert that engagement into consistent philanthropic support.

Leigh Ann earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, PA) and her Master’s degree in English from Arcadia University (Glenside, PA). She attained her yellow belt in Lean Six Sigma and a Certificate in Executive Management from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business (Notre Dame, IN). Leigh Ann has presented at various professional conferences on fund development and has taught professional development courses on fundraising. She also taught composition and literature courses as an adjunct faculty member. Leigh Ann and her husband Ben reside in Mountain Top, PA, and they have three children.