On this episode of the RAISE podcast, Brent chats with Matthew “Matty” Eynon, Vice President for College Advancement at Franklin and Marshall College. Matty is a techno-literate VP, a “fac brat”, a native French speaker, an exceptional chef, and an entrepreneur.
Given Matty’s fascinating background, he and Brent cover a lot of ground on this episode. Tune in to hear about Matty’s experience growing up elbow-to-elbow with trustees at The Wooster School, his time running a start-up golf equipment company called The Pyrenees Group, and his recent success of rewriting the CASE Global Reporting Standards alongside project co-chair Brian Hastings.
Catch the full episode below, or read on for the highlights.
Highlights from the episode…
Matty grew up on campus at a private boarding school in Danbury, Connecticut called The Wooster School. His father was the Head of School and his mother was a teacher. Matty embraces the title of “fac brat” (a child of a faculty member) and has been cultivating relationships with alumni, major donors, and board members since childhood.
Matty’s mother is a French citizen and his first language is French. Most of his family still lives in the Pyreenees Mountains in a small town called Pau.
Matty and Brent were financial aid beneficiaries who had to get scrappy with their side hustles in undergrad. They both worked as on-campus reps for companies selling college spring break packages.
Matty spent four years working as an apprentice chef at a French restaurant. Two years ago, Matty promised to put his culinary skills to work if the Franklin & Marshall team met their fiscal year fundraising goals. They did, and he cooked a French meal for the entire team.
Matty and two friends co-founded The Pyrenees Group, a start-up company serving the golf world that offered products to three verticals: a golf teaching aid, a golf putter, and a golf club cleaner. It was a 24/7/365 endeavor, but Matty loved being an entrepreneur and brings that mindset to his work as an advancement leader.
Matty worked at UMass Lowell from the late ‘90s to the early 2000’s at a time when Lowell was transitioning from a gritty former mill city to a budding metropolis of culture and art. He experienced how the leadership, faculty, staff, and students of a college are really citizens of their city, and play a major role in driving regional change and transformation.
Matty moved to his current role at Franklin and Marshall for three main reasons: the people, the potential, and the president. Those factors still motivate him at F&M every day.
Alongside his co-chair Brian Hastings and many other volunteers, Matty just completed the two-year project of rewriting the CASE Global Reporting Standards. They reflect global differences in philanthropy (i.e. tax codes by country); more transparency in advancement (i.e. fundraising reporting standards and ethics guidelines); and standardization of “counting” (i.e. cross-organizational comparisons of bequests, deferred pledges, and DAF contributions).
More about Matty
Matthew Eynon, former associate vice president for capital giving at Boston College, joined Franklin & Marshall College as vice president for college advancement in early 2012.
“Matthew’s advancement expertise, strategic vision and record of leadership in higher education make him ideally suited to lead Franklin & Marshall’s Advancement team,” College President Daniel R. Porterfield said. “He brings to F&M a lifelong commitment to the liberal arts and a record of building strong relationships with a wide range of constituencies, especially alumni.”
Eynon, a native of Danbury, Conn., is a former member of Boston College’s senior leadership team charged with advancement strategy in BC’s $1.5 billion capital campaign. At BC, he managed a team of 28 major and principal gift staff members and cooperatively managed Boston College’s overall donor prospect pool.
At F&M, Eynon is responsible for the College’s alumni and parent relations, fundraising initiatives, and corporate and foundation relations. He succeeds Lewis Thayne, who served as F&M’s vice president for seven years before becoming the president of Lebanon Valley College.
A graduate of Dickinson College, Eynon also formerly served as assistant vice president for advancement at Suffolk University in Boston, where he was responsible for the leadership of the development team during a $75 million campaign and partnered with trustees and institutional leaders on key aspects of the institution’s development program. Earlier in his career, Eynon served in several leadership roles at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, culminating in his appointment as the institution’s chief advancement officer in 2002. Total private support for the university exceeded $58 million under his leadership, while the total endowment increased by 75 percent.
Eynon says his passion for the liberal arts comes from his parents, both of whom are educators and graduates of liberal arts colleges.
In addition to his work in higher education, Eynon built experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. In the mid-1990s he was vice president and co-founder of The Pyrenees Group LLC, a golf product marketing company based in Lancaster and Acton, Mass., and he previously was a regional sales manager and account executive at Moguls Ski & Sun Tours in Bryn Mawr. He credits both experiences for shaping a perspective that helps him in higher education advancement.