The College of Wooster Board of Trustees this spring elected Sally Staley ’78, a higher education investment governance consultant who led the investment office for the endowment at Case Western Reserve University for over a decade, to serve as chair, succeeding Donald R. Frederico ’76, who has held the position since 2017. The first woman to hold the position at the College, Staley will assume the role July 1, 2021, with the start of the new fiscal year.
“Sally is an exceptional leader with deep knowledge and understanding of the most pressing issues facing higher education today,” said President Sarah Bolton. “She cares deeply about Wooster’s people and its mission, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside her in this new role and as Wooster’s first woman chair, as we tackle the immediate and long-term goals before us and ensure the successful implementation of the Connect, Create, Discover strategic plan.”
“I am honored and thrilled to be asked to lead The College of Wooster Board of Trustees,” said Staley, who has been a member of the Board since 2006, serving on the governance, investment, and enrollment & marketing committees. “My 43 years as an alumna and 14 years as a trustee have generated enormous pride for me personally and professionally. The years have surrounded me with continual learning, great challenges, talented colleagues, and great joy in being able to give back to Wooster a small part of what the College provided for me as a student over the four transformative years that launched my life.”
Staley is an investment governance consultant in private practice and with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. In 2017, she retired from her role of 11 years as chief investment officer at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio, where she oversaw an in-house investment staff of six and managed $1.8 billion of globally diversified endowment and trust assets and $1.7 billion of employee retirement plan assets. She led, supported, and contributed to all factors driving investment results; supported academic programs, faculty, and students throughout the university; ensured performance results aligned with investment objectives; and built strong working relationships with investment committee trustees.
Staley began at CWRU in 2002 serving first as associate treasurer for the Office of Treasury and Investment Services, and prior to joining the University, she held various investment positions including work at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, the renowned State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, Salomon Brothers Inc., and Prudential-Bache Securities Inc. In these positions, she managed multimillion dollar pension funds, developed international fixed income portfolios, authored investing manuals, trained staff on global bond and foreign exchange investing, and other investment and financial functions.
“I couldn’t be happier that the board selected Sally Staley to serve as its next chair. Sally has a solid grasp of the financial issues that the board oversees, a strong commitment to and understanding of effective governance at the board level, and a passion for the continued success and thriving of the College and its mission,” said Frederico, who will become immediate past chair after the transition this summer. “It has been a great honor to serve the College as Chair of the Board of Trustees these past four years. I’ve been very fortunate to work closely with the extraordinarily talented and caring President Sarah Bolton, to have the opportunity to engage with exceptional staff and faculty, and to collaborate with many generous, dedicated, and hardworking trustees.”
Frederico acknowledged the support, dedication, and devotion of his fellow College trustees. In his years as chair, the board has worked hard in a number of areas, including updating the board’s governance structure and processes, overseeing the administration’s management of the financial challenges and risks facing liberal arts colleges, and doing a deep dive into how the board can do more to contribute to a climate of racial equity at the board level and, less directly, on campus.
“Don has been a phenomenal leader of the Board and a terrific partner and ally to me throughout every part of my first five years as president, from the development of our strategic plan, our work to evolve board governance, and particularly this past year, as we worked to advance the Board’s work in racial equity and to deliver on Wooster’s mission amid a global pandemic,” Bolton said. “He has been unwavering in his dedication to the College, to addressing the most pressing concerns of our alumni and campus community, and to working to ensure Wooster’s future is vibrant. We are grateful for all that he continues to give to Wooster.”
Staley has served the College in a variety of ways since earning her degree in Latin American Studies from Wooster in 1978. Prior to joining the Board of Trustees, she served as part of the alumni leadership group in the Cleveland area, as class president for the Class of ’78, and as an Alumni Admissions representative, and avid supporter of The Wooster Fund. As a student at Wooster, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and her Independent Study focused on the political implications of United States multinational corporations in Latin America.
After graduating from Wooster, she completed her Master of International Affairs degree in International Banking and Finance at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. While CIO at CWRU, she received the Rodney Adams Endowment Management Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers in 2018, recognizing her contributions to professional development activities in the areas of university endowment investment management. She was also recognized in 2016 by Institutional Investor, when the University received the Large Endowment of the Year Investor Award.
“Alongside President Bolton and a dedicated and talented group of fellow Trustees, it is an extraordinary honor for me to lead Wooster’s Board through the next crucial and pivotal years for the future of our College and all of higher education,” Staley said.