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WNE Announces New Vice President for Advancement

SPRINGFIELD, MA: — Western New England University (WNE) has named Dean Hickey as Vice President for Advancement. WNE President Robert Johnson announced in a message to the community that Hickey will join the University October 1, 2023. As a member of the WNE senior leadership team, Hickey will lead the University’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts.

Currently serving as the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and Executive Director of the UMass Dartmouth Foundation at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Hickey was instrumental in helping the university secure a historic state investment of $73 million for the renovation of their Liberal Arts & Sciences (LARTS) building, which serves the vast majority of UMass Dartmouth students. His leadership and expert knowledge have driven a notable increase in UMass Dartmouth’s annual fundraising, concurrently fostering heightened engagement with their alumni.

WNE President, Dr. Robert E. Johnson lauds Hickey as an accomplished professional with the vision and expertise to lead WNE’s advancement endeavors. “Dean’s wealth of experience, dedication to collaboration, and visionary leadership will undoubtedly guide our institution’s advancement efforts into the future and contribute to WNE’s continued growth and success,” Dr. Johnson said. “His accomplishments reflect a commitment to excellence that aligns seamlessly with our institution’s values, and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact he will bring to our community.”

Prior to joining UMass Dartmouth, Hickey held several key fundraising positions in higher education and the non-profit sector, including vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at Lasell University, where he established new records for the Lasell Fund, increasing total giving by 21% and was responsible for overall campaign fundraising strategy of a two-year mini campaign, raising $14.8 million with more than 50% of goal from new donors. From 2004 to 2013 Hickey served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Becker College, where he led the college’s first-ever capital campaign, exceeding the $7.5 million goal by raising more than $12 million.

Hickey shared his excitement about joining the WNE community and leading its advancement initiatives, saying, “I look forward to working alongside the Golden Bear community to inspire support for our educational mission. We are all energized by the opportunity to support WNE students as they pursue their educational goals.”

Holding a Master of Arts degree in Philanthropy & Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, MN, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Central Connecticut State University, CT, Hickey’s educational journey is a testament to his commitment to excellence and continuous growth. His pursuit of knowledge and skill development extends beyond academia; he also completed training at the U.S. Army Signals Intelligence School in San Angelo, TX, and the U.S. Army Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, and served in the U.S. Army from 1990 to 1993.


Western New England University (WNE) is a private, nationally ranked, comprehensive institution with a focus on preparing work-ready and world-ready graduates. Founded in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts as a division of Northeastern College, WNE’s 215-acre suburban campus serves more than 3,700 students, including over 2,500 full-time undergraduates. More than 47,000 alumni have earned degrees through its 90+ undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and School of Law. Students come from 39 U.S. states and territories and 23 countries. Of 45,104 living alumni, 30% remain within the region, residing in the four Western Massachusetts counties and northern Connecticut.

WNE is classified among nationally ranked universities in US News and World Report, and among the Top 100 Undergraduate Engineering programs, and in the Doctoral/Professional Universities category in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.