by Rhea Kapur (III)
After 15 years of serving in the Office of Institutional Advancement, Mrs. Melanie Hoffmann will be leaving Pingry in June to take the next step in her career.
Mrs. Hoffmann will become the Assistant Head of School at the boarding school Vermont Academy. She credits Pingry for “preparing her to take on this next step in her journey,” saying that her long tenure at Pingry and all of the “opportunities and roles [she’s] taken on have really readied her to take on this new leadership role.”
Mrs. Hoffmann received a B.A. in both Art History and German from Hollands College. After graduating, Mrs. Hoffmann worked at the Smithsonian Museum’s Development Office, where she first developed her passion for consulting and fundraising. Upon moving to New Jersey in 1997, she worked for a year at the Central Park Conservancy in New York, after which she came to Pingry. From 2000-2005, Mrs. Hoffmann worked for the Museum of New York and for Ellis Island, and she also did some consulting. She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Education in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and graduates in July.
As a good friend of Henry Stifel III ’83, for whom the Stifel Award is named, Mrs. Hoffmann first applied for the job of Campaign Manager in 1998 and talked extensively with Mr. Stifel about Pingry. She was initially attracted to Pingry after “really connecting with the Honor Code and all that Pingry stood for,” talking to Mr. Stifel, and conversing with then-headmaster John Hanley as well. Over her 15 years at Pingry, Mrs. Hoffmann has served as Campaign Manager, the Director of Major Gifts, the Interim Director of Development, and finally, the Director of Institutional Advancement. Among one of her biggest projects included the immensely successful “Blueprint for the Future” campaign of 2016.
When asked about memories from Pingry that she will forever carry with her, Mrs. Hoffmann immediately talked about regularly meeting with Honorary Trustee William Beinecke ’31, who recently passed away. “Getting to know him over the course of 20 years was truly amazing, and just realizing what an incredible person he was for the vision he had to move the school out to Bernards Township has been so warming and rewarding for me. It’s something I’ll never forget. He was such an important pillar of this community, and Pingry was really fortunate to have him.”
Mrs. Hoffmann will miss Pingry’s people the most after her departure. “I’ll forever cherish my experiences with the amazing faculty, alumni, and parents I have worked with over the years,” she said. Over her time at Pingry, Mrs. Hoffmann has enjoyed seeing the “composition of the student body evolve to include more racial and socioeconomic diversity” and generally watching the students thrive, as “they are a reflection of everything that goes on at this school.” She is also extremely grateful for Pingry’s community, support system, and “being able to reach out to anyone at any time.”
Mrs. Hoffmann encourages members of the community to “appreciate what you have, because Pingry has so much, and to enjoy every minute of your incredible time in this incredible community.