P.O. Box 400220
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4220
Robert D. Sweeney
Bob Sweeney has spent virtually his entire 40 year career leading colleges and universities in maximizing their fundraising and public outreach. He has represented some of the finest public and private institutions during pivotal periods in their history where they leveraged strong leadership, significant new private resources and a compelling story to gain prominence. Every institution he has served has significantly increased its positioning in the various guides and rankings. These include SUNY Oswego, the University of Richmond, Loyola University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and, for the past 22 years, the University of Virginia. Mr. Sweeney has spent over 31 years at the Vice President level or above.
Central to Mr. Sweeney’s philosophy of building organizations is that for a team to come together, its members must share a common goal. Inspiring people through personality is a risky, exhausting endeavor. He believes that instilling in people the belief that accomplishing something far bigger than themselves—sparking the innovation of the next generation by providing an education to deserving students or funding the creation of new knowledge that supports cutting edge research--instills dignity and pride that motivates peak performance.
As Senior Vice President for University Advancement, Bob Sweeney has been the architect of two of the largest campaigns in the history of public higher education. In 2000, Mr. Sweeney led a successful campaign for $1.43 billion at U.Va. At the time, it was the largest amount ever raised by a public university. In June of 2013, the University exceeded its $3 billion fundraising effort that, at the time of its announcement was the largest campaign goal ever attempted by a public or private university. It now ranks in the top ten campaign successes ever. During his tenure at U.Va., Mr. Sweeney has orchestrated funding that exceeds $4.5 billion. Adding campaign successes at UNC Chapel Hill, Richmond and Loyola, Mr. Sweeney has been a catalyst in raising almost $5 billion.
For 12 years, Mr. Sweeney also led the public affairs program at the University which included media relations, social media, marketing, web design and services, audio visual services and community relations. He worked closely with University President Teresa Sullivan to create and launch a new University Communications division that will leverage the dramatic changes in the communications environment.
Bob Sweeney has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Joseph Hospital (Towson MD), his alma mater Niagara University (where he received an honorary doctorate in 1998) and several University of Virginia related foundations including the Virginia Health Foundation, the Virginia Athletics Foundation, and the University of Virginia Foundation.
He makes his home on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. He resides on Thomas Jefferson’s historic Lawn in Pavilion VI. He has two sons, Matthew of Beverly Hills, CA and Paul, of Hilton Head, SC.