Seamus Fitzgerald (’12) has spent the first five years of his career in the field of philanthropy and fundraising for higher education. He has progressed through four positions at Northwestern University and currently serves as Assistant Director of Major Gifts, Alumni Relations, & Development for the Chicago Region. In this position Seamus is impacting higher education philanthropy on an exciting and challenging new level.
[Adapted from the nomination statement]
Judging by his time spent at the University, it is no surprise that Seamus has achieved so much in the five years since he graduated. While a student, Seamus worked at the UW Foundation as a Telefund Caller and Annual Fund Intern, helping secure important private support for the university and its students. Though no longer active, he led the founding of the Student Foundation at UW, a student-run philanthropy group of “Badgers Giving Back.”
After completing his degree, Seamus leveraged his degree and training in community and nonprofit leadership to launch a career in philanthropy at Northwestern University, always willing to take on new roles and challenges. His hard work, not unnoticed by the university, landed him a Northwestern Excellence in Sustainability Award. Aside from his day job, Seamus impacts his greater community through volunteer activities. Recently, he launched an entrepreneurial start-up project (founding a 501c3) related to solar energy for nonprofit organizations, which has since continued to grow.
Despite his many accomplishments, Seamus keeps close ties with SoHE. He is a member of the Chicago chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, serving as Volunteer Coordinator on their 2016-2017 Board of Directors. He is a dedicated philanthropist himself, making a significant impact on the School of Human Ecology each year and encouraging his peers to do so as well, acting as an Alumni Ambassador in 2016 for the SoHE matching gift campaign. Seamus embodies the spirit of a human ecologist through his innovative thinking and his desire to make the world a better place.
Early Career Alumni Award recognizes outstanding graduates who have received a degree or certificate from a program within the School of Human Ecology and is younger than age 40. Selection is based on demonstrated achievement and leadership within a chosen field.