JAA in LA: Accelerating the Future of Advancement in Jesuit Higher Education

Photo courtesy of Loyola Marymount University

The Jesuit Advancement Administrators (JAA) conference of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) is a professional organization of advancement professionals serving Jesuit higher education in the United States. Founded by Rev. J. Barry McGannon, S.J. at Saint Louis University in 1990, JAA became an official organization on June 21, 1991. JAA serves as a resource for professional development; provides an opportunity to share best practices in the industry; and acts as a network for the advancement of Jesuit higher education. 

Membership is voluntary and each of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the nation pay annual dues. The Advancement Vice Presidents convene as a group at least twice a year to oversee the work of JAA and appoint one person from their team to serve as a member of the JAA Conference Planning Committee. This committee organizes an annual gathering designed to strengthen relationships with colleagues who share common bonds and needs; to sharpen and keep contemporary the professional development of advancement teams; and focus on understanding and articulating the Jesuit nature of our institutions. More than 350 professionals in alumni relations, development, advancement services, and marketing and communications for advancement regularly attend the annual meeting.  

This summer, “JAA in LA: Accelerating the Future of Advancement in Jesuit Higher Education” will convene in Los Angeles from July 22-24, 2018; the meeting will be co-hosted by Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. Special thanks goes to Mike Wallace, AVP for Development and Constituent Relations at Santa Clara, and Erin Hanson, Senior Director for Board and Donor Relations at Loyola Marymount, for leading the JAA Conference Planning Committee, which has organized a very exciting program.

This year's JAA meeting will open with a Mass at the Sacred Heart Chapel on the campus of Loyola Marymount. The opening keynote address will be given by Kerry A. Robinson, Founding Executive Director and Global Ambassador of the Leadership Roundtable. A panel of AJCU presidents will share their views on how best to work with and be supported by the advancement divisions at their institutions.  

A selection of featured sessions:

  • Infusing Ignatian core values into the life and performance of development teams
  • Driving philanthropy and engagement through effective storytelling
  • Organizational change through leadership and innovation
  • Collaborating major gifts, annual fund and planned gifts
  • Partnerships between development and academic leadership
  • Connecting alumni globally through digital engagement
  • Building traditions through homecoming and reunions
  • Engaging current students through alumni programming
  • Building advancement events with a purpose
  • Automated donor reporting
  • Utilizing behind the scenes resources to lead frontline giving

In July, JAA will present several awards of recognition including its highest honor, the Reverend J. Barry McGannon, S.J., Award; the awards honor special achievement or dramatic improvement in several areas of advancement (the recipients have not yet been announced). Social events at the conference include a “Taste of LA” and an “Evening Under the Stars at Sony Pictures Studios." For more information about this summer's "JAA in LA" conference, please click here.

This overview of the annual Jesuit Advancement Administrators Conference was provided by Doreen Knapp Riley, Vice President for Advancement and Corporate Secretary at John Carroll University, and current chair of JAA.