Converse College has named Catherine Culler Inabnit as its new vice president for institutional advancement. Inabnit, who is the first Converse alumna to hold the position, will officially begin her duties on March 1.
A graduate of the Class of 1968, Inabnit is charged with expanding the base of Converse supporters, more actively engaging the college’s alumnae with their alma mater, and building the next generation of leaders and donors who will help to advance the college’s mission of preparing women for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and service.
Inabnit is completing a 25-year tenure as a lead officer in the development office of the Georgia Institute of Technology. As director of regional development at Georgia Tech, she managed a team of regional development officers responsible for raising private resources for one of the nation’s top ranked universities. In addition, she had personal responsibility for the design and implementation of plans to identify, cultivate and solicit major prospects in the Mid-Atlantic region.
“Cathy Inabnit’s return to her alma mater is a coup for Converse College, and a testament to the exceptional talents of our alumnae,” said Converse President Betsy Fleming. “Cathy’s interest in leading our advancement team promises a future of growth and excellence. She knows firsthand the value of a Converse education and is a compelling example of the college’s ability to prepare women for leadership and success. Cathy will be an incredible addition to the college’s operations and the entire Spartanburg community.”
Inabnit’s accomplishments include securing six endowed chairs ($1.5 million-$2.5 million each) during The Campaign for Georgia Tech; coordinating university-wide guidelines for prospect assignments among Tech development officers; and establishing a research office that enabled the Tech development office to pursue successfully gifts throughout the U.S.
“I am a strong proponent of the education that a women’s college provides because I have experienced it firsthand,” said Inabnit. “When I arrived on the Converse campus as a freshman, I felt that I had a certain amount of confidence. But it was my Converse experience as a whole that helped me to recognize the true depth of my abilities as a leader.”
Inabnit earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Converse and her master’s in urban life from Georgia State University. In 1993, Converse presented her with its Distinguished Alumna Award. In 1986, she was one of the first two recipients of the Georgia Tech Foundation Professional Achievement Award and was selected as one of 24 participants in the CASE National Forum for Women Institutional Advancement Officers.
“Our loss is indeed Converse College’s gain,” said Barrett H. Carson, vice president for development at Georgia Tech. “She is diplomatic, charming and caring, and has led ably her colleagues by example, raising their sights and productivity along the way. She and her team are responsible for the establishment of literally hundreds of permanent endowments, with the ultimate beneficiaries being Georgia Tech students, Georgia Tech faculty, and indeed the very buildings in which they teach, learn and research. Cathy is returning to her alma mater where she spent her formative years; where she was shaped into the person that she has become, and where her heart is.”