Arnold named senior director of Auburn Engineering’s Office of Development

Published: Apr 22, 2020 2:16 PM

By Lauren Winton

Margaret Arnold has been named senior director of development for the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, according to an announcement by Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering. 

Arnold, who previously served as director of development for the college, began her new appointment as senior director April 22. As senior director, Arnold is responsible for leading the college’s development and fundraising efforts, including managing, mentoring and coaching development officers and coordinators, implementing strategic stewardship and engagement plans, and working with the dean to ensure that all of the college’s development and fundraising goals are met. Arnold will also continue to serve as a major gift fundraiser.  

“I am delighted to have Margaret take the helm as senior director of development. Having worked with her for more than eight years, I am confident she has the knowledge, talent, skills and experience to further elevate our college,” Roberts said. “I know Margaret will do a spectacular job in advancing our vision for Auburn Engineering.”

Arnold joined the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering in 2012, serving as a development officer. She was promoted to assistant director of development in June of 2018 and to director in 2019.

Jane DiFolco Parker, university vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation, said Arnold’s experience, longevity at Auburn and her success as director of engineering development made her a perfect fit for the position.

“I could not be more pleased that Margaret has agreed to take on the role of senior director of development in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. She is an accomplished major gifts officer who approaches her work from the donor-centric perspective that is the hallmark of effective philanthropy. She also is a wonderfully collaborative colleague, invested in the success of her team, and enthusiastic about leading this group of highly effective colleagues with whom she has partnered for years. Margaret absolutely loves the College of Engineering constituency, so this is a superb fit for her,” Parker said.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Arnold began her career in development at her alma mater. She transitioned to Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and served as the director of annual giving before moving to Belmont University in Nashville. Arnold was acting director of parent giving and major gifts at Belmont before moving to Auburn to take her role in fundraising for engineering. She has a bachelor’s degree in literature.

“It has been an honor to serve the College of Engineering, our donors, alumni and Dean Roberts for the last eight years, and I am thrilled to be able to continue to serve the college in this new role,” Arnold said. “We have the strongest development team I have witnessed in my time here and I look forward to our continued growth and success with a team who loves our college and the Auburn Family.”

Arnold succeeds Derek Dictson, who recently took a position with New Mexico State University as the vice president for development. Dictson was with Auburn Engineering for three years as senior director of engineering development.

“Derek has done a wonderful job building such an incredible development team,” Roberts said. “Under his leadership, the college exceeded its fundraising goal for Because This is Auburn – A Campaign for Auburn University. Now, I am excited to see the direction Margaret will take the team. I am confident she will build upon this strong foundation and create an exciting landscape for Auburn Engineering.”

Media Contact: Lauren Winton,, 334.844.5519
Margaret Arnold

Margaret Arnold

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