Dennis Cross Vice President for University Advancement

Dennis Cross


Dennis Cross came to W&L in October 2004 from The College of William and Mary where he served as vice president of university development. In that position, he organized and managed the William and Mary development program and conceptualized, planned and initiated implementation of the school's $500 million fundraising campaign. During his final year in Williamsburg, William and Mary received its first recognition for an outstanding development program among colleges and universities with the CASE/Wealth Engine Circle of Excellence Award for Overall Performance.

From 1992 until 2000, Cross served the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as executive director of the Arts and Sciences Foundation and senior associate dean for program development and external relations for the College of Arts and Sciences. He helped conclude successfully in 1995 the A&S portion of the Bicentennial Campaign. He later assumed the additional responsibility as special assistant to the director of the Carolina First campaign. Cross helped plan and successfully launch the $2 billion Carolina First campaign. Cross was a senior member of the University's development and external relations team that received annual recognition from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as a national top performer in development. Before assuming his role at Carolina, Cross served for six years as Director of Alumni and Development for the College of Arts and Science at his alma mater Vanderbilt University.

Cross is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vanderbilt. He also received the M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from the Divinity School of Harvard University, where he concentrated in the philosophy of religion.

As Vice President for University Advancement at Washington and Lee, Cross serves as the senior philanthropic officer for W&L and oversees the following areas:

  • Alumni Affairs
  • Communication and Public Affairs
  • University Development
  • Law School Advancement
  • Special Events
  • Special Programs
  • University Guest Houses
  • University Collections of Art and History, which includes the Reeves Center and Lee Chapel & Museum

Cross served as the managing director of Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee (2008-2015). The campaign concluded on June 30, 2015 with $542.5 million raised, the second highest campaign total ever at a liberal arts college. Washington and Lee has received the Circle of Excellence Award for Overall Performance in Development five times since Cross arrived at W&L.
He is a 2015 inductee of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.