October 01, 2012
many, relocating to New York City can seem like a daunting task.
But for North Carolina native
Elizabeth Rivera, the opportunity to live – and make an impact
– in the Big Apple has been nothing short of exciting.
“Being here is obviously a big change from North Carolina,” said
Rivera, who recently joined St. John’s University as the Director
of Annual Giving in the Office of Annual Campaigns. “But the people
here are great, the city is beautiful and I’m thrilled to be at an
institution like St. John’s, one whose mission I really
Rivera’s responsibilities include overseeing both the Student
Phonathon and a variety of fundraising initiatives, including
direct mail and electronic solicitations. After spending 11 years
working at her alma mater – the University of North Carolina at
Greensboro – this hard-working professional is well-equipped for
“I was a Music major at UNCG, and I needed an outlet from that,”
Rivera explained. “So I actually began my career in fundraising by
working at UNCG as a student. Eventually, I graduated and moved on
to different positions there and, in the process, developed a real
passion for the profession.”
During her time at UNCG, Rivera served as Assistant Director of
Annual Giving and Associate Director of Annual Giving Programs,
overseeing the institution’s Telefund Program. Most recently, she
worked as UNCG’s Regional Associate Director of Development for the
New York City metro area, which is originally what brought her to
“I was part of one university for a very long time,” Rivera said.
“I felt like I was ready to move on, so when I saw the opportunity
at St. John’s, I knew it would be a terrific opportunity and an
Rivera has been impressed with the Queens campus and is looking
forward to attending games during the upcoming Men’s and Women’s
basketball season. She’s also noticed the campus, much like New
York City itself, is typically buzzing with activity.
“There is a lot going on at any given time here on campus,” she
said. “There might be a blood drive one moment, then a campus-wide
mass in St. Thomas More Church the next – it’s all very nice. And
you can tell from the students, by the way they wear their St.
John’s gear, that they’re proud to be here and take pride in their
Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about for Rivera: raising funds to
help deserving young men and women. And whether it’s in North
Carolina or the Big Apple, this ambitious professional recognizes
the importance of providing an affordable college experience.
“Simply put, every student deserves an education,” she said. “And
it’s precisely through fundraising that we give them that
opportunity. That’s why I’m so glad to do what I do, and I’m
thrilled to be here at a great institution doing that.”