Scott G. Nichols

Senior VP, Development & Alumni Relations

Scott Nichols, Senior Vice President, BU Development & Alumni Relations

Scott Nichols joined Boston University in May of 2006 as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, overseeing a staff of 200. He is responsible for all areas of advancement and is currently leading the University’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which recently raised its goal from $1 billion to $1.5 billionIn 2011 he was promoted to Senior Vice President. 

Formerly, he was chief advancement officer and Associate Dean at Harvard Law for 20 years. During his tenure, which consolidated all advancement functions, he helped engineer two long range planning processes that have both led to successful campaigns. The first was the $150,000,000 Campaign for Harvard Law School, an unprecedented effort that was five times larger than anything previously attempted in legal education. The Campaign exceeded its goal by $33,000,000. Nichols also spearheaded Setting the Standard: The Harvard Law School Campaign, designed to raise $400,000,000, which brought in $480,000,000. 

Nichols served DePaul University from 1980–86, initially as Director of Development, then as Associate Vice President. Prior to that, he was Director of Annual Giving at Northwestern University and held a variety of advancement positions at Bucknell University, including Director of Alumni Relations. He began his career teaching in Morocco as a Peace Corps Volunteer.    

Holding an undergraduate degree in economics from Bucknell, he obtained a master’s and doctorate degree in educational administration from the University of Pennsylvania. His doctoral dissertation was on volunteerism in higher education. He received the William E. Arnold Award at Penn for Outstanding Promise of Leadership. 

Active in the profession, Nichols is a co-author of five books on advancement. He was a longstanding trustee of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and a trustee of CASE Europe. For many years he has served as a CASE judge for the Grenzebach awards for best scholarship, research and publications in the field. A frequent speaker on the conference circuit, Nichols is a recipient of the Steuben Award from CASE for excellence in presentations. 

Nichols served as a trustee of Bucknell University for 20 years. At Boston College, he serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. 

Over the past several years, Nichols has taught Principles and Practices of Philanthropy at the Harvard Extension School. In addition, he teaches the philanthropy module in Harvard’s New Presidents Seminar, the Management Development Program, and the Institute for Educational Management.