Saint Mary's School News

Julie Ricciardi Named Associate Head of School for Institutional Advancement

Julie E. Ricciardi, CFRE, has been promoted to Associate Head of School for Institutional Advancement by Interim Head of School Carol Killebrew. As a member of the school's Executive Cabinet, Ricciardi will oversee the areas of admission and enrollment, alumnae and development, marketing and communications, and auxiliary services – the revenue-generating areas of the institution – into one cohesive unit. She has served Saint Mary's School as its director of development since 2015.

Saint Mary's School recently announced the promotion of Julie E. Ricciardi, CFRE, to Associate Head of School for Institutional Advancement.

“We are delighted to share that Julie Ricciardi has been named Associate Head of School for Institutional Advancement and will oversee the departments of alumnae and development, enrollment and admission, marketing and communication, and auxiliary services as one unit,” says Dee Williamson Marley ’77HS, chair of the Board of Trustees. “As an all-girls college preparatory high school, naming a female to a top leadership post has deep meaning for our alumnae and students, and we feel privileged to add another strong, professional woman leader, teacher, and mentor to help lead our school forward.”

Ricciardi was tapped by school leadership to transition the revenue-generating departments of the school into one cohesive division. The announcement is being met with great enthusiasm from students, alumnae, parents, and donors alike.

"Julie is a leader of the highest caliber and brings incredible integrity, clarity, strategic vision, and joy to her work at Saint Mary's," says Killebrew. "We were fortunate to have someone so skilled already on staff who can step seamlessly into this position and contribute meaningfully to our school. With decades of leadership experience and expertise in advancement and operations, she has already proven to be a keen listener and a seasoned expert at bringing disparate views together around a common goal. As a member of our Executive Cabinet, she is also a wonderful advocate and mentor for students and staff with a poise, drive, and mission-centered focus that will help secure the future of Saint Mary's. I look forward to her partnership and the impact she will continue to have on our institution."

As the director of development for Saint Mary's, Ricciardi strengthened and grew the development and alumnae office; initiated exciting, new partnerships with funders and donors, alumnae, parents, and friends; and elevated revenue generation for the benefit of the 179-year-old school.

"Most recently, Julie and her philanthropy team raised more than $32 million during the silent phase of our Saint Mary's Forever campaign," says Marley. "Through her leadership, she has grown key philanthropic areas, including the school's annual fund, estate and planned giving, major gifts to add or create endowed scholarship and restricted funds, and capital funds to support the physical plant."

A native of Indiana, Ricciardi was hired in 2015 as Saint Mary’s development director after serving as vice president for engagement and executive director of development and alumnae affairs for William Peace University (formerly Peace College). Prior, she served as Purdue University's Purdue Music Organization (PMO) director. She was also previously an elementary education teacher. A gifted singer, Ricciardi traveled the globe performing with the PMO and later helped raise significant philanthropic investment in the organization.

“I came to Saint Mary’s because I believe in the importance and impact of an all-girls education,” says Ricciardi. “Girls' schools are leading the way in every area of life and create a culture of achievement in which academic progress is of great importance, and the discovery and development of a girl's individual potential is paramount. We know that graduates of girls' schools are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider engineering compared to girls who attended coed schools. Saint Mary’s has been accomplishing this for 180 years, and that's precisely why I am thrilled to serve Saint Mary's in this new leadership capacity for an institution where girls are heard and accepted, supported and empowered, and where they are challenged and encouraged to be bold, to be inspired, and prepared for college and life."

Ricciardi earned an MBA from Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Purdue University. She is also a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Previously, Ricciardi served on the board of The North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities (NCASA), and she currently serves as a board member for The Raleigh Ringers and on the board of the Council of Advancement in Support of Education (CASE) District III, where she also has served as a committee chair and annual volunteer.

by Lauren E. Gerber
Director of Marketing and Communications