Patricia Arnold became the Vice President of Advancement for Webster University in January 2017. Her responsibilities include overseeing the University’s annual funds, government relations and alumni programs.
This position is one of several executive positions Arnold has held over the course of her career. She held executive positions with the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis and the Mercy Health Foundation.
Arnold said the opportunity to apply her expertise as a businesswoman to a college institution is what lured her to take the job.
“The opportunity to work in the university setting is what led me to take this position,” Arnold said. “I had previous experience at a cultural institution and in health care. So to work at a university was exciting for me; to bring my experience working as a professional to Webster was very exciting.”
Arnold said she looks forward to creating enthusiasm in the community about Webster’s goals and plans for the future in her new position. She also hopes to reach out to more alumni and engage them in helping students.
“I want to take the stories of Webster out into the community,” Arnold said. “We want to bring [alumni] back into the fold of Webster and get them excited about what we’re doing and have them help in creating a brighter future for our students.”
The previous Vice President of Advancement was Charles Hahn. He had held the position since 2014. When Hahn decided to step down, Webster President Elizabeth Stroble said she was looking to hire someone who had experience in fundraising who could expand what Hahn did in his time at Webster.
After evaluating Arnold’s experience and what she did for organizations in the past, Stroble knew she would be the perfect fit for Webster.
“We were looking for an experienced fundraising professional who could build on Charles Hahn’s leadership and partnership in leading Webster’s Advancement Team,” Stroble said. “When [Arnold] joined Webster University, she brought with her an excellent reputation in the St. Louis community and the fundraising industry for building successful results for strong organizations.”
Stroble said Arnold has already made a great impact on Webster’s fundraising in her first few months. She said Arnold’s ability to bring in donors has helped fund one of Webster’s new buildings.
“In recent months she accomplished positive results in guiding the Advancement team during a time of transition and has strengthened our fundraising momentum,” Stroble said. “[Arnold’s] leadership helped Webster secure new major donors for Browning Hall, the Interdisciplinary Science Building.”
Arnold most recently served as the President of the Mercy Health Foundation. This position required her to travel across several states. After holding that position for 10 years, she said she wanted to come back to St. Louis for good and contribute to an organization that is predominantly locally based.
“I had a very good career at Mercy and I loved what I did there for 10 years as the head of their foundation,” Arnold said. “We’re in seven states so in my role I traveled quite a bit and I was ready to come back to St. Louis and devote my time and attention to a St. Louis institution.”
Jason Huff, the Executive Director of Administration and Optimization at Mercy, said Arnold provided a tremendous amount of leadership as president that helped unify the foundation across several states.
“She truly helped take the organization into the next level,” Huff said. “She brought all of our foundations together under one umbrella and provided leadership across seven states for all of our foundations.”
With all of Arnold’s executive experience and accomplishments in her professional career, she remains confident her success at Mercy will help contribute to her success at Webster.
“I have worked with many types of people like professional colleagues, board members and volunteers throughout every part of my career,” Arnold said. “I think that when you work with people you learn so much and so what I hope to be able to do is bring those things I learned here to help develop a program that will help move Webster forward.”