Champlain College Honors Longtime Fundraiser

Champlain Presidents and Shelley Richardson

(From left) Champlain College President Donald J. Laackman, former President David F. Finney, former Vice President of Advancement Shelley Richardson and former President Robert A. Skiff at the dedication of the Shelley Richardson Atrium in the Center for Communication and Creative Media.

BURLINGTON, VT - Champlain College has named the atrium of its new Center for Communication and Creative Media (CCM) in honor of Shelley Richardson. A longtime fundraiser at the College, Richardson is credited with helping to raise more than $60 million for the College during her 33 years.

The surprise announcement was made during the grand opening of the building on Sept. 26. Trustee Emerita Holly Miller described how Richardson helped her to become a board member and mentored her in the ways of philanthropy. "Shelley was always more about ‘friend-raising' and the fundraising just followed," she told the crowd.

According to David Provost, senior vice president of Institutional Advancement & Finance, "During her tenure, Shelley worked closely with four College presidents, nearly 100 board members, and countless faculty and staff. With her team, she mounted three successful campaigns, the results of which helped build buildings, establish the first endowed chair, award scholarships, and grow the College's endowment."

Richardson joined Champlain College in 1982. She held many positions, ranging from spearheading the first nationally recognized computer camp for children to Vice President of Advancement. On hand for the dedication were President Donald J. Laackman, former presidents David F. Finney and Robert Skiff, numerous current and former trustees, and friends and family, many who contributed to this initiative.

The plaque reads: "For more than three decades, Shelley Richardson has been the connector to Champlain College, a friend-raiser and bridge to a better life for countless students. She has aligned the passion of Philanthropists with students' pursuit of knowledge. Shelley has been the gateway to a Champlain education for so many students and the conduit to help donors change lives. We honor her legacy and thank her for all she has done on behalf of Champlain College."

BELOW: Former Vice President of Advancement Shelley Richardson (in purple) learns the news that the atrium of the new Center for Communication and Creative Media was being dedicated to her 33 years of work at Champlain College. 

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit