Averett University Announces New Vice President for Philanthropy

Posted on February 17th, 2021 by Matt Bell

Averett University has announced that Melissa Wohlstein has been named vice president for philanthropy after an extensive nationwide search. Her appointment was effective as of Feb. 16, 2021.

Wohlstein joins Averett after a career spanning almost 20 years in both the public and private college/university settings, working in all aspects of higher education fundraising.

“I am confident that as vice president for philanthropy, Melissa will find strategically innovative ways to grow the University,” said Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “With her existing connections to Virginia and her commitment to Averett’s mission, she will provide thoughtful and inspiring leadership as we embark on many bigger and bolder fundraising initiatives.”

During her tenure in philanthropy — with responsibilities including annual fund drives, alumni development, major gifts and planned giving — Wohlstein has secured more than $25 million in major gifts.

Her experience includes serving as the associate vice president of development at Hollins University; senior director of constituent relations for the College of Veterinarian Medicine at the University of Georgia; vice president for institutional advancement at Radford University; associate vice president for development and campaigns at Georgia Southern University; and senior director of development and alumni affairs for the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve as the vice president for philanthropy for Averett University,” said Wohlstein. “This is an exciting time to join the Averett family and the Danville community, with so much positive energy focused on the vision for the University’s future. I look forward to working with President Franks and to engaging with our alumni, supporters and leadership to help lead Averett to new levels.”

Wohlstein earned a Master of Public Administration degree from The University of Central Florida as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater and English from The University of Alabama.

She has presented at numerous national fundraising conferences and held leadership roles in several professional and community organizations, including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Fundraiser Professionals and Rotary International.

Wohlstein is joined by her husband of 18 years, Doug; a daughter, Alex and two labradors.