Heckman named interim VP for university advancement

Published January 11, 2024

Kathleen Heckman.

Kathleen S. Heckman, associate vice president for advancement administration, has been named interim vice president for university advancement, effective Feb. 1.

Heckman succeeds Jason Diffenderfer, who is leaving UB to take a position as vice president for university advancement at Baylor University.

She will maintain her role as co-director of the Boldly Buffalo campaign.

A UB alumna, Heckman has spent her entire professional career at the university. After receiving a BA in geography in 1992, she worked in Conferences & Special Events — now University Events — planning and coordinating university-wide special events, including the Distinguished Speakers Series, commencement and the inauguration of William R. Greiner as UB president.

She joined the Office of Alumni Relations in 1997, first as assistant director, then as associate director. She was named deputy to the vice president for development and alumni relations in 2003, and assistant vice president in the Office of the Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement in 2006.

She assumed her current position as associate vice president in 2016, leading the division’s operations, resource administration and core services in support of staff retention and career/professional development. She has implemented numerous programs to create a positive work environment for the division, including most recently a DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) plan as a foundational roadmap for action and a mechanism to measure progress toward DEIB goals

As co-director of Boldly Buffalo, she co-led preparations for the campaign, assisted in the execution of the campaign plan and oversaw all engagement and communication efforts. She also worked with the campaign volunteer steering committee comprised of alumni and donors who assisted the university in achieving campaign success.

The campaign exceeded its original $650 million goal in 2021, and last year surpassed an expanded goal of $1 billion with eight months to go until the official close date of June 30, 2024.

In addition to her work with the campaign volunteer steering committee, Heckman has also worked with other UB volunteer groups, including the UB Alumni Association Board of Directors and the UB Foundation Board Gift Stewardship Committee.

In addition to a BA, Heckman received an MBA in marketing and management from UB in 1995.