Announcing Our New Annual Giving Chair: Diane Wilder '79

Diane Wilder graduated in 1979 in one of the first coed classes at Vermont Academy. She enjoyed the theater program and sciences, and she learned the valuable lessons of participating in athletics. After graduating from Swarthmore College, she became a higher education administrator and in various fundraising roles has helped to raise close to half a billion dollars.
She is honored and happy to thank the many alumni who have supported Vermont Academy, saying, “Dr. Z's leadership will inspire new ways of approaching annual giving, and I’m excited by this opportunity to make a difference for current and future students.”
In her new volunteer role as annual giving chair, Diane brings decades of expertise in fundraising, prospect management and research, donor relations, and alumni relations. She currently is the assistant vice president of institutional advancement at Haverford College. A former competitive synchronized ice skater and ice dancer, she continues her love of ice skating and serves as a judge in the Mid-Atlantic region for the United States Figure Skating Association.

She encourages alumni who wish to join the annual giving alumni leadership program to contact her at 610-420-4881 or

“I will always remember acting alongside Diane in the school rendition of The Fantastiks. She helped make things move along with her smarts and dedication to doing a job better than just well. Excellence has always defined her, and I am delighted that she has accepted the role of Annual Giving Chair. I am sure she will bring down the house once again.”
—Lisa Eckhardt McNealus ’79, Chair of the Art Department

“From the moment I met Diane last summer in Pennsylvania, I knew I was very fortunate that she was an alumna of the school. Her knowledge of and experience with fundraising is vast and deep, and the fact that she’s willing to share her talents with VA in this role is priceless. We have raised the bar for VA’s Annual Giving program not only in dollars, but with our volunteers—and especially with Diane leading the way as Annual Giving Chair.”
—Melanie Hoffmann, Assistant Head of School and Director of External Affairs