Follow Your Passion

New VP for advancement wants to help facilitate meaningful connections.

by Darrell Bell

Darrell Bell

It’s easy for me to be passionate about education. As entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman once said, “The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon education.” Higher education affords people the tools to transform their own lives and affect the world around them — across dozens of academic disciplines. Year after year, our society benefits.

So when people who know my profession ask, “How do you ask people for money?” — often followed by exclaiming, “I could never do that!” — my response is simple: The work is all about providing opportunities for people to act on their passions and allowing for that connection to inspire investment.

I see it as much more than just raising money — my role is to connect people to what they deeply care about. That’s my passion, my “life’s work” to say it in Nazareth-speak — relationship-building and connection. Originally I went to college to study criminal justice, but while I was there, I realized that my strengths were relational: listening, building trust, helping people connect the dots and feel inspired. I took a work-study job making calls for my college’s phonathon — speaking with thousands of alumni and friends of the College — and I excelled. I saw how incremental contributions made a difference for my classmates and me, and how critical access to financial aid was for some of my classmates.

I also discovered the “full-circle” effect for alumni, how fulfilling and satisfying it felt for them to support something at the College that was meaningful to them from their time as a student. The reason and area of support was different for each person — whether it was an athletic team, a scholarship, study abroad, internships, or research — and the combination of diverse support created tremendous power. My takeaway: Amazing things can happen when each person plays their part. There is strength in incremental action. And when there is a place for everyone, that’s when true belonging becomes transformative.

Now that you know more about me, I am eager to get to know you. What are you passionate about? What mattered most to you when you attended Nazareth? What do you want our current students to experience? How do you hope for them to affect our world through the lens of Nazareth’s education and what does that mean about their needs as students?

These may seem like a lot of questions for you to ponder, but they are important. What I’ve learned about Nazareth in my six months here is that its greatest asset is its people. You care about each other, about your community, about the greater good. You are actively engaged in the world around you and your contributions are meaningful and significant. I am here because I believe in Nazareth’s legacy and Nazareth’s people. I’m excited to see the effects ripple through our communities as we work together.

Any way you can participate in the life of the College matters, and it makes a difference. It may look different for each person, but there is a way for everyone to support today’s students and to advance the institution that helped you become who you are. Let’s work together to find your way.

It is an honor for me to play a role in Nazareth’s next chapter. And I look forward to getting to know you soon.

Darrell Bell joined Nazareth in May 2021 as vice president of advancement.

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Nazareth fosters a culture of giving back, to both the College and the wider community by facilitating opportunities to volunteer, develop and share expertise, and make a gift to the College.

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