SRU welcomes five fundraisers from SRU Foundation


Old Main

Five members of the Slippery Rock University Foundation, Inc. staff will transition to become SRU employees, effective Sept. 1.

Aug. 21, 2020

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Five fundraisers from the Slippery Rock University Foundation, Inc. will be transitioned to employees of the University, effective Sept. 1. The pending moves were announced by Dennis Washington, SRU vice president for University advancement, in collaboration with the Foundation following a review of the University's advancement operations upon Washington's January hiring.

"We're transitioning five fundraisers to the University but the funds they raise will still go to the SRU Foundation," Washington said. "There are a number of reasons to make this change, but overall we felt that it would be advantageous to have the fundraisers employed by the University in order to better align their duties with the priorities of the University."

Samantha Swift


SRU Foundation, Inc. will continue to exist as an independent 501(c)(3) organization in support of the University, and its other employees will remain with the Foundation under the direction of Ed Bucha, executive director. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the Foundation raised more than $3 million for the University through charitable gifts that supported student scholarships, student organizations and other resources.

The following SRU Foundation staff will transition to the University Sept. 1:

  • Samantha Swift, executive director of University development and advancement services.
  • Erin Bryer, assistant director of development and annual giving.
  • Marissa Cozza, senior coordinator of annual giving and communications.
  • Lauren Zuschlag, development officer.
  • Katie Hedderman, development officer.

Formerly the director of development, Swift's new title also comes with additional responsibilities. Aside from managing the team of fundraisers, Swift will also supervise advancement services. All other staff retain their prior titles and duties.

Vice President of Advancement Dennis Washington


"We're excited to continue raising private funds for the University," Swift said. "The transition won't alter our mission to support SRU students, and we look forward to the opportunities to further enhance our relationships within the University."

"These fundraisers are very skilled, and most of them have been with the Foundation for several years, so we have every confidence in them that they will continue to be successful," Washington said. "We want to continue to increase the investment in the University. A lot of people think of SRU as a public institution that gets state funds and that it doesn't need donations - that's simply not true. One of the areas that we really need to focus on is increasing investment from our alumni and friends and from corporations, foundations, estate gifts and online gifts. These things are very important because they help to provide support for students now and into the future. We want to reduce students' debt as much as possible and we want to make sure that the facilities and technology that we offer on campus are modern and well-suited to provide a state-of-the-art educational experience for them."

To learn more about the SRU Foundation, Inc. and ways to support SRU, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |