Meet the Faculty
Jon Paparsenos is the Vice President Philanthropy and CEO UNSW Foundation appointed in 2016. He brings to the role more than 14 years' experience in the planning and execution of fundraising campaigns. Prior to joining UNSW, he served in the position of executive director of development, academic divisions and regions for the California Institute of Technology and with Marquette University in Wisconsin and Community Counselling Co., LLC in New York.
Jon came to philanthropy following an eight-year service with the US Marine Corps. Jon holds a BA from Seton Hall University. In 2016, Jon immigrated to Australia with his wife and two children to take up his current position with UNSW.
Jimmy Buck is the Chief Advancement Officer at Deakin University, leading a growing team of advancement practitioners at one of Australia’s youngest universities. A lifelong fundraiser, Jimmy started his career in advancement as a university student, co-chairing Boston University’s class gift campaign, which raised $100,000 from graduating students.
During nine years at the University of Sydney, Jimmy worked across all areas of Advancement, leading advancement services, alumni relations and development teams in both higher education and medical philanthropy. At Sydney he played a leadership role generating philanthropic income towards the $1 billion INSPIRED campaign, the largest philanthropic campaign in Australian higher education.
He is a CASE volunteer and speaker, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Education Advancement and Marketing and the Deakin University Community Bank Board. Jimmy brings international experience from earlier roles and studies at Boston University, the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and the University of Sydney.
Sue Cunningham leads one of the largest global membership associations of educational institutions. CASE provides professional development and advancement knowledge for 3,700 institutions and 90,000 practitioners working in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other related professions. Previous roles: vice-principal, advancement, the University of Melbourne; director of development, the University of Oxford; director of development, Christ Church, Oxford; and director, external relations, St. Andrews University.
She's a member of the International Women's Forum, an honorary fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the fundraising committee for the Aurora Foundation, Australia. She holds a master's degree from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree from Middlesex University. While a CASE Volunteer, she received the CASE Crystal Apple Award and a CASE Distinguished Service Award.
Lorna Somers is recognised internationally as a teacher/facilitator in the field of Higher Education and Institutional Advancement speaking at educational and arts organisations throughout the world. As an accomplished practitioner, she is in her 33rd year at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. From the introduction of foundational programmes like Annual and Planned Giving, and the establishment of Major and Principal Giving as well as Recognition and Stewardship, Somers also leads strategic planning, case and vision development. Campaign Director for two university-wide comprehensive campaigns and a third now in the planning stages, she has also led targeted campaigns for the Museum of Art, Health Sciences, Endowment, Chairs and Scholarships and University Centre. Somers works closely with academic leadership and is leading McMaster's new Brighter World Research Initiative.
Somers is co-author of the definitive Canadian fundraising text, Planned Giving for Canadians and the recipient of numerous international awards for excellence in teaching and leadership. She is an Aquarius with 16 cats.
Marcus Ward is Chief Philanthropy Officer at Monash University. He leads a team of 40 with a remit to embed a culture of philanthropy in support of Monash’s mission and vision, through both securing transformational gifts and significant levels of alumni donor participation.
In 2018, Marcus led the launch of the University's largest-ever fundraising campaign, “Change it. For good.”, with goals of raising $500m from 50,000 donors and doubling the number of bequests made to Monash.
Before joining Monash, Marcus was Head of Major Gifts at Queen’s University Belfast, where he worked on two comprehensive fundraising campaigns that culminated in the team recognised as the Times Higher Education Fundraising Team of the Year 2012. Prior to that Marcus led the Corporate and Trust Fundraising Team at The Prince's Trust in London, securing its largest ever philanthropic relationship, still in place almost 20 years later.