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Master College Calendar

Ten Years Hence - Roxanne Spillett

Roxanne Spillet


February 8
10:40am - 12:10pm


Mendoza Jordan Auditorium

Open to:

students, faculty, staff, public, alumni


Jean Meade


Roxanne Spillett, in her 16 year tenure as President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, led the most successful transformation of what is today one of the Top Ten nonprofit organizations in America. The Boys & Girls Club Movement is made up of more than 4,000 Club affiliates in the United States, and on U.S. military bases across the world. With acombined staff of 50,000 full and part-time employees and $1.5 billion in revenues, the Movement serves some 4 million boys and girls.

Spillett’s 1996 appointment to the presidency of BGCA marked a new era. She led BGCA through a decade of major expansion, implementing a growth strategy that more than doubled the size and scope of the Boys & Girls Club Movement and tripled its revenues. Simultaneously, the organization unveiled a dynamic new brand strategy, featuring national spokesperson Denzel Washington, which is heightening the public profile of Boys & Girls Clubs. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of America also ranks among the Top 10 nonprofit brands in America.

Spillett also strategically spearheaded the drive to increase services for children in nontraditional environments, including public housing and Native American lands. One of her most noteworthy achievements is the initiation of a unique partnership with the Department of Defense, which has chartered Boys & Girls Clubs on more than 400 U.S. military bases worldwide. She also initiated international efforts to assist other nations in establishing youth centers.

Under Spillett’s strategic leadership, BGCA created generation-changing initiatives in education, technology, financial literacy, health and fitness and civic engagement. Simultaneously, the organization also significantly enhanced the capacity of local Clubs in technology, human resources, and board and resource development. Her proudest accomplishments include uniting Clubs behind a common agenda. With a keen financial acumen, Spillett successfully implemented aggressive and highly focused financial strategies to create new revenue streams for local affiliates resulting in more than $1 billion to directly support local Clubs.

Spillett also led the development and launch of a significant and far-reaching impact plan that positions BGCA more powerfully than ever as an advocacy organization of national scope and influence. The plan commits BGCA to ensure lasting impact in the lives of youth; increases high school graduation rates; promotes healthy lifestyles; and inspires generations of children to a level of civic engagement not seen since the founding of our nation.

Spillett also built one of the most prestigious and engaged nonprofit boards in America, establishing an enviable governing body with such national leaders as former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice; key executives of Fortune 500 companies including the CEOs of Staples, Kimberly Clark, Whirlpool, Sprint, and Tupperware Brands; and top university leadership from Stanford, MIT and Notre Dame. Consistent with her efforts to recruit professional talent, Boys & Girls Clubs of America was selected as one of the top 50 2010 Best NonProfit Organizations to Work for.

In recognition of her numerous achievements, Spillett was selected as one of the “Power 50” by The Non-Profit Times for three consecutive years. She also received the Excellence in National Executive Leadership Award presented by the National Human Services Assembly, an association of leading nonprofits in the fields of health, community development, and human services. In July 2006, Newsweek cited Spillett and BGCA as one of “15 People Who Make America Great,” part of the magazine’s annual Giving Back Awards.

President George W. Bush appointed Spillett to the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, which promotes volunteerism, community service and good citizenship. She is past chairperson for Leadership 18, an alliance of executives from the nation’s most influential nonprofits, and serves on the boards of BoardSource and the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University in Atlanta and as a trustee of America’s Promise Alliance.

Spillett earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the State University of New York, and did graduate work in guidance and counseling at St. Lawrence University. She also studied public health administration at Hunter College in New York. In recent years, Spillett has received five honorary doctorate degrees: one in law, from the University of Notre Dame; and four in the humanities, from Trinity College in Hartford, Bryant University in Rhode Island, Marian College in Indianapolis and Westfield State University in Massachusetts. Today, she teaches graduate students in the Non Profit Management program at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame.