National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 5. Copyright 2009 National Collegiate Honors Council.


Development has a long history in American higher education. The first institutions of higher education founded in the United States were private and relied heavily on donations of money or land (Brittingham & Pezzullo, 1990). Public schools, which once enjoyed a period of relatively generous government funding, must also now vie for development dollars in an increasingly competitive market. The organized development efforts of both private and public colleges and universities have evolved and expanded over the years, giving rise to centralized development offices and trained, professional development officers. However, many academic leaders outside the development office, including honors directors and deans, find that they also have an emerging role in development (Mercer, 1997; Wolverton, Gmelch, Montez, & Nies, 2001; Zane, 2006; Zimpher, 1995).