Q&A: Stephanie Young

Stephanie Young joined Baylor College of Medicine in July 2020 as senior vice president for institutional advancement. Learn more about her in this Q&A, where she discusses how her office helps to meet the goals of the institution, challenges presented by the pandemic and more.

Stephanie Young

Stephanie Young

How does the Office of Institutional Advancement support the mission, vision and values of Baylor College of Medicine?
The Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine expands awareness of, advocacy for, engagement in, and sustainable giving to the mission areas of the College.  Advancement works to strengthen institutional relations, enhance private support, encourage alumni involvement and commitment, communicate effectively with diverse constituents and the public, and articulate the College’s excellence. The combination and coordination of communication, engagement and fundraising efforts are critical to our success.

What are your immediate goals for Institutional Advancement? Long-term goals?

  • Increase awareness of and advocacy for Baylor College of Medicine, resulting in recognition of Baylor’s research, teaching, learning and clinical excellence.
  • Broaden and deepen constituent engagement with Baylor, developing more meaningful relationships with alumni, friends, BCM faculty, staff, board and community.
  • Expand, diversify and create sustainable philanthropic support to Baylor, through the Baylor Medical Foundation, by raising $100 million annually for the mission areas and core institutional priorities.
  • Meaningfully engage current and new donors, build a robust alumni program and increase the number of $1 million-plus gifts to the College.
  • Continue fundraising campaign readiness preparations and launch the initial phase of campaign.
  • Build academic medicine’s top-performing advancement organization with first-rate talent, integrated infrastructure and a highly collaborative culture of philanthropy across BCM.

How has the pandemic shaped and/or changed the goals of the Office of Institutional Advancement at Baylor?
2020 was a year of great change and reflection, including my arrival in July to Baylor College of Medicine. If this year has taught us anything, it is that nothing is predictable. COVID-19 propelled most organizations into digital transformation at a pace most thought would take years. The Office of Institutional Advancement needed to find remote, creative ways to engage with donors as well as make a conscious effort to broaden the diversity of our donor base and build inclusive donor experiences. We have spent a lot of time since my arrival understanding what our stakeholders care about, what communication channels they prefer and how they want to engage with our work. Humans are hungry for connection and community, especially now, and our office is focused on creating a sustainable platform to share our stories and to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships.

What have you learned about Baylor in your time here so far? What has impressed you most?
I have long admired the work that takes place at Baylor. Since joining the BCM community, I more deeply appreciate what makes the College so unique and special – the people, the innovative spirit and can-do attitude, the research enterprise, lifesaving treatments and the important work to educate the brightest and best. It is a privilege to be able to partner and amplify these stories of hope and inspiration.

What is your professional/educational background?
I have over 25 years of experience as a successful healthcare strategist and fundraising executive. My experience includes a diverse background in academic medicine, advising family foundations and philanthropists, building collaborative partnerships, marketing communications, developing and implementing capital and annual giving campaigns, biotech investment, strategic and business planning, and stakeholder engagement on global and community healthcare initiatives. I’m a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a Rotary Club International Ambassadorial Scholar recipient. I currently serve on several boards and advisory councils and am an active volunteer supporting various health-related causes.

What drew you to this career?
For me personally, there is no higher calling than to use my time, energy, talents and experience to empower patients and communities around the world with knowledge and to inspire philanthropy in support of worthwhile and important goals such as innovative research, better and personalized healthcare and the education of future medical leaders. 

Are you from Houston originally?
Born in Boulder, Colo.; grew up in Dallas; lived in Washington D.C., London and Mexico and have lived in Houston now for more than 25 years with my husband and two sons (ages 9 and 12).

Celebrating the completion of a half marathon with her two boys!

Celebrating the completion of a half marathon with her two boys!

Most people wouldn’t know that I …
Have run two half marathons, met the current Pope, speak Spanish and am a big sports fan, especially Longhorn football.

What’s on your bucket list?
Diving in Australia, writing a book, learning to play the guitar

Favorite quotes?
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
-African Proverb

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
-CS Lewis

Anything else you want to add?
I am a big-picture, entrepreneurial and strategic thinker, who is passionate, deeply connected and committed to mission-driven work – someone who truly wants to make a difference, rather than someone just doing a job.