Lisa Schott to lead Philander Chase CorporationGAMBIER, Ohio (May 5, 2010) Lisa Schott '80, a mainstay for twenty-five years in Kenyon's Office of Alumni and Parent Programs, has been named managing director of the Philander Chase Corporation. Schott will report to President S. Georgia Nugent, who made the announcement at the April meeting of the Board of Trustees. Schott replaces Douglas Givens, who announced his retirement in the fall. The position was made half time after Givens's departure. Schott will also continue to work in the College Relations Division as a major gift officer, a responsibility that is part of her current job as director of alumni and parent programs. She will remain housed in the College Relations Center, and in her gift-officer capacity will report to Vice President for College Relations Sarah Kahrl. Kahrl will chair the national search for Schott's successor as director of alumni and parent programs.
"The land is what brought me to Kenyon. Even as a student, it was important to me," said Schott. "My family and I are outdoor people. The countryside was a draw for me when I came to work at the College, and working for Philander Chase is something I'm passionate about." More than three thousand acres of land have already been protected from development by the Philander Chase Corporation, and Schott hopes to preserve even more. Fittingly, Schott's fundraising portfolio includes donors interested in funding the preservation of open spaces and scenic views surrounding Gambier.
"Lisa will be a wonderful successor to Doug Givens as director of the Philander Chase Corporation," said President Nugent. "Her deep connections to this College and also to the Knox County community, her long-standing interest in the environment, her extraordinary gifts in building relationships, her keen organizational abilities -- all these are great strengths that she brings to this role." Nugent added: "At the same time, Lisa is an extremely valued leader in the College Relations Division, and we would not want to lose her wisdom and effectiveness in that capacity. This newly defined position is truly a 'win-win.' The College reaps the full benefit of Lisa's many talents, and she is eager for the opportunity to take on an exciting new challenge."
Schott came to work at the College in 1985 as the director of volunteer programs, reporting to alumni affairs director Jeff Robinson. After Robinson retired in 1988, she was promoted to head the department. Schott has guided alumni and parent programs through many transitions, including taking on supervision of the annual fund in the mid 1990s, a role that no longer falls under the alumni office rubric. Remaining constant, however, has been her deep devotion to fostering relationships with many generations of alumni through reunions, regional alumni chapter events, and a variety of other outreach programs.
"She's been an amazing ambassador for Kenyon," said Kahrl. "Lisa is an enthusiastic and trusted leader among thousands of alumni and decades of Kenyon parents. That attention to relationships has made her an exceptionally skilled major gift officer, and I am delighted she can continue to serve in this capacity as she steps into this great opportunity for her and Kenyon." The new role appealed to Schott as a way to move in a new direction with her career and still maintain her ties to Kenyon colleagues, alumni, and parents.
While Schott recognizes how much has been accomplished since the Philander Chase Corporation was established in 2000, she also knows how much work remains. "It takes only one developer to ruin one of our most cherished and pristine views," she says. "I want to continue to protect what makes Kenyon and Knox County the place I love."
Schott earned a degree in anthropology at Kenyon and went on to earn a master's degree in history and museum studies from Case Western Reserve University. In 2007, she was honored with Kenyon's Distinguished Service Award, given annually to an administrator in recognition of outstanding service and dedication. A native of Lakewood, Ohio, Schott worked at the Howard Dittrick Museum of Historical Medicine in Cleveland prior to her appointment at the College. She has two adult sons and lives in Mount Vernon with her husband, Stuart Schott.