Lorna Somers

Lorna Somers

AVP, Development
McMaster University
Crystal Apple Winner


Lorna Somers is recognized internationally as the foremost teacher/trainer in the field of institutional advancement in higher education and is herself an experienced and accomplished practitioner in her 30th year of practice at McMaster University in Canada. 

Somers has been working in University Advancement at McMaster University since 1988.  During that time, she has been involved in the establishment and growth of the Annual Fund, Gift Planning, Major and Principal Giving, and the Recognition & Stewardship programs. She has been Campaign Director for two university-wide comprehensive campaigns, (Changing Tomorrow Today 2001 and The Campaign for McMaster 2010), in addition to directing a series of targeted campaigns for Athletics, the Museum of Art, 2 campaigns for Scholarships & Bursaries, the McMaster University Student Centre and for the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Centre for Learning & Discovery.  Somers currently focuses her attention on working closely with senior academic leaders and volunteers to secure principal level gifts, (most notable among them, the largest cash gift to a Canadian university), and to leading McMaster’s new Brighter World Research Initiative. 

Along with co-author Dr. Frank Minton, Somers wrote the definitive volume entitled Planned Giving for Canadians and regularly speaks at conferences and on campuses throughout the world with a particular focus on Australia, Africa and Europe.