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University of Memphis Announces Tara Jones as New Leader of Advancement

Tara Jones
A dynamic advancement leader in higher education, Jones will strengthen the UofM community by bolstering donor relationships and building engagement with key stakeholders.

The University of Memphis has announced that longtime advancement professional Tara Jones, PhD, most recently with Auburn University in Alabama, will become Senior Vice President of Advancement for the University of Memphis and the University of Memphis Foundation.

Bringing more than two decades of experience in higher education advancement and development, Jones most recently served as the Executive Director and Associate Vice President for Constituent Development for Auburn.

UofM partnered with Lindauer on an extensive search that resulted in Jones’s placement. Commenting on the partnership, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost David Russomanno said, “Our Lindauer team asked really good questions from the beginning, which was critical in helping us define the open position clearly and strategically. This strong start set us on a path that ultimately yielded a group of very impressive candidates who exceeded our expectations.”

Jones expressed her excitement in joining the University of Memphis team on June 1. “I am deeply honored to serve the University of Memphis in this pivotal role,” she said. “I look forward to working with the team and stakeholders to shape strategies that elevate engagement, philanthropy, and financial support to new heights. I am incredibly excited to help build and strengthen partnerships to advance the University’s mission and vision.”

As the SVP of Advancement, Jones will be a member of President Hardgrave’s executive leadership team and will be responsible for strengthening the UofM community by bolstering donor relationships, building engagement with key stakeholders, and maintaining a portfolio of more than 150,000 UofM alumni, eight giving societies and nearly 1,500 types of scholarships.

“Tara has an established record of success in developing and leading high-performing advancement teams,” said Hardgrave. “Her years of experience in the fundraising space will be instrumental as the UofM looks to strengthen its position among R1 research universities. We are fortunate to have her come on board as a University of Memphis Tiger.”

Read the full announcement on the University of Memphis website.

Tara Jones was appointed in April 2024. The search was led by Lindauer Vice President and Managing Director Faith Montgomery and Consultant Alexandra Barber.

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