PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s Director of Athletics, Steven J. Bilsky W’71, has announced the hiring of Dr. Scarlett K. Schmidt as the athletic department’s Executive Director of Development. Dr. Schmidt will begin her duties at Penn on September 4.
“I am pleased to welcome Scarlett to our department,” said Bilsky. “She is taking on a very important role in our department, but I have the utmost confidence in her abilities based on her track record. Scarlett is coming to Penn at a very important time in our department’s history; we are wrapping up the Campaign for Penn Athletics this fall, and a lot has been done thanks to our development staff over the last five years. That said, development will continue to play a prominent role in how we conduct our business, and I look forward to working with Scarlett as we move forward in a post-campaign world.”
“I am excited to join the University of Pennsylvania family and to work with all of the wonderful alumni, fans, donors, student-athletes and administration,” said Schmidt. “I would like to thank Steve Bilsky and Assistant VP for Development Linda Schleifer for the opportunity to lead the Athletics Development program and continue to build on the recent success of the entire Athletic Department.”
Dr. Schmidt comes to Penn from George Washington University, where she has been the Senior Executive Director of Athletics Development/Associate Athletic Director. Prior to that, she served as Director of Athletic Development for the University of Delaware Athletic Fund (UDAF).
At GW, Dr. Schmidt collaborated with University Development and Athletics to set the strategic direction of the newly formed office of Athletics Development. Schmidt oversaw all area of Athletics philanthropic initiatives including creating the Buff and Blue Annual Fund and GW National Advisory Council.
As director of the UDAF from 2007-11, Dr. Schmidt oversaw a 300-percent increase in dollars raised for the fund during her tenure, and established record growth of new donors to the University of Delaware Athletic Fund. Schmidt established a culture of philanthropy for UDAF by building strong and mutually beneficial relationships across the University, donor, athletic alumni and season ticket holder communities, and through the creation of various clubs and point programs to encourage giving and provide donors with unique and invaluable benefits. Through a newsletter, brochures, frequent receptions and the successful Student-Athlete Thank-A-Thon program, Dr. Schmidt elevated the UDAF to unprecedented heights, and increased the visibility and awareness of UDAF at University of Delaware sporting events and in University communications.
Prior to her stint at Delaware, Dr. Schmidt was the Director of Annual Giving for the Buckeye Club in The Ohio State University’s Department of Athletics from 1996-1999, and Athletic Development Manager for the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund from 1993-1996.
A National Association Athletic Development Director (NAADD) Executive Committee member and Third Vice President, Schmidt earned a Bachelor of Science (Marketing Education), Master of Science (Sports Management Administration), and Ph.D of Education (Education Administration/Higher Education) from Virginia Tech. Scarlett and her husband Jon have one daughter, Sydney.