|Position:||Director of the Crusader Athletics Fund|
Heather Palmer is in her fifth year at Holy Cross in 2016-2017, and her third year as director of the Crusader Athletics Fund. Palmer oversees all activities involved with the athletic development annual giving programs and fundraising within the Crusader Athletics Fund.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, the Crusader Athletics Fund saw historic increases in participation and gifts in support of Holy Cross Athletics. New records were set with $1.63-million raised and 4,374 total donors, which represented an 18 percent increase in dollars and a 12 percent increase in donors over the previous year. Participation from student-athletes was also particularly impressive in 2015-2016, with all 148 graduating senior student-athletes making a gift for the first time in school history. Overall, 12 programs established new records for dollars raised, while 10 sports broke the record for the most donors.
In 2014-2015, the Crusader Athletics Fund saw a 25 percent increase in annual athletics giving and raised just shy of $1.4-million for Holy Cross Athletics. This came on the heels of a 2013-2014 campaign in which there was a 37 percent increase in donations. In 2013, Palmer created the Purple Pride Challenge, a Winter Homecoming fundraising initiative that encouraged former Holy Cross athletes, friends and family to support Holy Cross Athletics. A group of alumni issued the Challenge whereby all gifts made to the Crusader Athletics Fund during the Winter Homecoming weekend would be matched, up to $250 per gift, and up to a total of $50,000. From 2013-2015, the Purple Pride Challenge secured over $600,000 for the Crusader Athletics Fund.
Before coming to Holy Cross, Palmer was the Director of Athletic Alumni Relations and Stewardship at Harvard, where she developed strategy for stewardship and annual fundraising efforts for the Department of Athletics. She worked in partnership with Bob Scalise, the Nichols Family Director of Athletics, to determine department priorities and carry out alumni relations, friends group fundraising, strategic event planning and stewardship activities.
Prior to moving into her role in athletic development, she was the assistant sports information director for the Crimson, handling the publicity of 14 Harvard teams and was responsible for updating GoCrimson.com, writing, designing and editing publications such as media guides and game programs, and working to keep Harvard athletics prominent in the local, regional and national media. She served as the onsite media coordinator for the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships at Gillette Stadium.
Palmer spent three years at the University of Pennsylvania , serving as the associate director of athletic communications and working with football, men's basketball, wrestling and several Olympic sports. She also served as the Penn Relays press row coordinator for three years and was the media relations director for the 2004 EIWA Championships. Palmer was also involved with the 2005 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships at Lincoln Financial Field.
A 2002 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Palmer wrote for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and the Daily Collegian while working towards a journalism degree. She was a two-year member of the UMass track and field team, where she holds the distinction of being the first ever female pole vaulter.
Palmer is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD). She received a master's of liberal arts degree with a concentration in management from Harvard's Extension School in March 2011.