NEWS: Riley appointed VP at University of St. Thomas

University of St. Thomas President Dr. Robert Ivany has announced the appointment of Cynthia Colbert Riley, MLA ’95, as the University’s new vice president for institutional advancement. Riley begins her first day of work today.

As head of institutional advancement, Riley will lead the University’s fundraising efforts focusing on the “Faith in Our Future” Capital Campaign. 

Riley has more than 24 years of experience in institutional leadership in healthcare, higher education and public broadcasting institutions.

“We are very happy to welcome Cynthia back to St. Thomas,” Ivany said. “Her broad experience in fundraising in the Houston community and her appreciation of St. Thomas’ unique mission make her a valuable addition to our campus.” 

Most recently, Riley served as the interim executive director and vice president for development at The Methodist Hospital Foundation in Houston. There, she led fundraising efforts for The Methodist Hospital System, including organizing the hospital’s first strategic fundraising campaign and supporting the planning and development of its ongoing $200 million campaign. Riley also worked as the senior director of development at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine. 

Additionally, Riley has experience in fundraising at St. Thomas. She served for five years as the capital campaign coordinator during the University’s first capital campaign in the 1990s. 

“I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to return to the University and lead the Advancement team,” Riley said. “The University is on track to become one of America’s great Catholic Universities and I look forward to working with alumni and the community at large to expand the base of philanthropic support for our University.” 

Riley is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has previously served on the Greater Houston Chapter Board of Directors. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree from UST in 1995.

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