Susan Van Vorst
Dean, Conservatory of Music
M.A., University of Akron
B.A., Kent State University
Susan D. Van Vorst became the eighth Director of the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in April, 2012. She has an impressive record of leadership in the Northeast Ohio arts community and is a passionate advocate for excellence in the study and performance of music. Susan teaches a fundraising component of the Arts Management curriculum at Baldwin Wallace.
Prior to her appointment at Baldwin Wallace University, Susan served as Director of Development for the Musical Arts Association (The Cleveland Orchestra) where she led a team of professional advancement staff responsible for annual fund revenue of $2.9 million and comprehensive campaign commitments of $30 million each year. She developed fund raising, audience development and advocacy strategies for Summit County and served as the primary staff liaison for the Blossom Board of Overseers.
From 1997-2010 Susan was Foundation President and Vice President, Fund Development at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, Ohio. She provided fiscal, programmatic and strategic direction for a foundation supporting a historic museum and public garden with an operating budget of $4.5 million. During Susan’s tenure at Stan Hywet the organization completed two successful capital campaigns, introduced a legacy society, and raised $18.7 million in support of ongoing operations and restoration efforts for this National Historic Landmark. Susan helped to create the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens Foundation, formed in 1998, and served as its president from its inception until 2006 when the Foundation Board merged with Stan Hywet's Operating Board. A highlight of her tenure at Stan Hywet was the design and leadership of a campaign to restore the 1915 Aeolian Organ in the Manor House Music Room. Susan played a primary role in Stan Hywet's presentation of musical programming.
Susan is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of both The University of Akron (M.A. in Arts Management) and Kent State University (B.A. Music, piano). She led the enrollment efforts for the Conservatory of Music at Baldwin Wallace University from 1989-97 and has served in various management capacities for DANCECleveland, The Akron Symphony and the San Antonio Symphony. Susan serves on the programming committee for Music from the Western Reserve and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning / Northern Ohio Planned Giving Council. She was the 2010 Chamberlain Scholarship recipient for the North Central AFP chapter. She is a past board officer for Tuesday Musical Association and Western Reserve Planned Giving Council and a past director of Project LEARN of Summit County. She chaired the Philanthropy Project for her Leadership Akron class of 2001.