Elizabeth “Dolly” Duffy, associate director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association and a 1984 Notre Dame graduate, has been appointed executive director of the association, as well as associate vice president for University Relations.
“As we begin this next chapter in the history of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, I have great confidence that Dolly will build upon an organization that is considered a model for excellence in higher education with the wisdom, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence necessary for still further growth and greater good,” said Louis M. Nanni, vice president for University Relations. “Her experience as an entrepreneur, combined with her deep faith and commitment to family, uniquely qualify her to take on this important role in the broader Notre Dame family.”
Duffy, who was selected after a four-month worldwide search, will succeed Charles F. “Chuck” Lennon in July, upon the completion of his extraordinary run of 30 years leading what is arguably the most extensive alumni network in the nation. In cities and towns across the country, the Notre Dame Alumni Association plays a central role in maintaining a strong bond between the University and its nearly 132,000 living alumni. Under Lennon’s direction, the number of clubs has grown from 151 to 276, of which 62 are international.
“I am delighted for Dolly and her family,” Lennon said. “She brings a breadth of experience, a knack for relationship-building, a keen understanding of the University, and a passion for our university. This array of qualifications and abilities will serve her well in her new position. I am confident she has the ability, experience and passion – as well as the support of the University administration, Alumni Board, club and class volunteers and staff – to take the Alumni Association to the next level.”
Michael Wong, current president of the Alumni Association board of directors, added: “Over the past several months, Notre Dame conducted an extensive search across the Notre Dame family. Though numerous extremely talented candidates were considered, I’m thrilled with the selection of Dolly Duffy and for the future of the NDAA.”
Since becoming the associate director of the association in early 2008, Duffy has led many of the organization’s major initiatives. She directed the launch of a new online platform and strategy called myNotreDame, designed to help alumni more easily connect with one another and the University. Duffy also led a strategic review of all of the association’s programs and initiatives, and she supported the creation of ND Women Connect with local chapters that assist in the professional and personal development of alumnae.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to build on the strong outreach, programs and service that Chuck and this wonderful staff have accomplished over many years,” Duffy said. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with our alumni, parents and friends to deepen their connection to Notre Dame.”
Duffy earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Notre Dame. She and her husband, Dan Fangman, who earned his master of business administration degree from Notre Dame in 1984, purchased Atchison Products in 1990 and grew it substantially over 17 years. The company posted $15 million in sales in 2006 and was acquired in 2007 by BIC Graphic USA.
Prior to purchasing Atchison Products, Duffy spent five years as an account executive for public relations firms in St. Louis and Kansas City. She began her career as the press secretary for a U.S. congressman.
Long active within Notre Dame’s alumni community, Duffy has served on the board of directors for Notre Dame clubs in Washington, D.C., St. Louis and Kansas City. Duffy and Fangman live in South Bend with their five children.
Founded in 1868, the Notre Dame Alumni Association serves nearly 132,000 alumni – as well as parents and friends – and helps coordinate the activities of 276 Notre Dame clubs around the world. It was among the first alumni organizations to offer continuing education programming – including the Hesburgh Lecture Series and Excellence in Teaching program – and to initiate community service programs that have been emulated throughout American higher education. It also oversees the University’s Eck Visitors’ Center on campus.