Lori M. Buckheister recently served as the vice president for advancement at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). There she led a comprehensive advancement division comprising the areas of development, communications, alumni engagement, and advancement services focused on innovative strategies and high impact practices to support the college’s rapid growth from 100 students in 2006 to more than 12,500 in 2018. Buckheister served jointly as president of the GGC Foundation (GGCF), which now holds more than $180 million in assets. With more than 20 years of higher education experience in the public and private sectors, she has served in advancement at GGC, the College of Charleston (SC) and Wake Forest University.
Buckheister held several leadership roles during her tenure at GGC. Initially she joined the team as the college’s charter director of development, also becoming the foundation’s chief administrative officer soon thereafter. As part of GGC’s initial leadership team, she was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the college’s strategic development plan and in the administration of its foundation. Collaborating with the GGCF’s board, she helped guide its growth centered on best practices for institutionally-related foundations.
Buckheister earned her MA degree from Wake Forest University and her BS degree from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. Throughout her career, she has been involved in professional organizations and leadership programs. Buckheister is a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute. She also completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.