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Widener Advancement Head Named Professional of the Year

Durant led Widener's record-breaking Taking the Lead campaign and guided efforts to raise the profile of the university regionally and nationally. 

Linda Durant, senior vice president for university advancement at Widener University, had been named Professional of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II. Durant will accept the award Feb. 2 during the CASE District II Conference in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes a District II institutional advancement professional who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in the development of an institutional advancement program or innovative execution of programs within the area of advancement, contributed to the profession through work with CASE, and volunteered in service to the community or charitable organizations.

“It is truly an honor to receive this award, especially from an organization with so many exceptional individuals developing creative and innovative initiatives to advance the cause of education,” Durant said. “I’m very fortunate to have the support of Widener President James T. Harris III who understands the importance of institutional advancement and a terrific team in alumni engagement, development and university relations.”

Durant, who has been at Widener since 2003, is in the closing stages of leading the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. Launched during the peak of the recent recession, Taking the Lead – the Campaign for Widener has surpassed its goal of $58 million, raising $61.7 million to date and growing.

Under her leadership, Widener has implemented a university-wide branding campaign which has led to increased recognition, visibility and greater understanding of the university. Since 2005, the university advancement team at Widener has received 45 awards from professional associations for elements of its communication program.

Durant has also made significant contributions to the profession through her work with CASE, both nationally and in District II. She has served on the national board of trustees for CASE, and currently serves on the District II board as past-chair. She also served as operations co-chair and conferences co-chair for District II. Since 2000, she served on the faculty and as chair of numerous CASE educational programs in the United States and abroad, delivered keynote addresses, and chaired annual conferences for two separate districts.

In the community, Durant serves on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Chester, where she was instrumental in helping the board forge a long-range strategic plan for the organization. She has also served on the Nether Providence Historical Society Board of Directors, and she faithfully participates in community service projects such as alternative spring break and Martin Luther King Day.

CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

The largest of the eight CASE districts, District II serves Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and West Virginia. For more information, visit

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,000 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university’s website,