May 16, 2019

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce that, at the end of the summer, Fran Shields will be moving into an exciting new leadership role at the College as the inaugural Director of the Camel Athletics Network and Athletic Director Emeritus.  

Through this new position, Athletics will have greater visibility, strategy, and support within the division of College Advancement, as we work toward the public launch of the most ambitious campaign in the College’s history. Fran will partner with Kim Verstandig, vice president for College Advancement, to tap into the enthusiasm of generations of scholar athletes whose love for Conn goes hand-in-hand with their athletic experience. Contributing to the leadership teams of both departments, Fran will work to build collaboration between these two critical areas while also building institutional knowledge. He will transition into this role next fall. A national search for a new Director of Athletics will launch this summer.

Fran is uniquely qualified to lead the Camel Athletics Network as its inaugural director because of what he has already learned about that network over the course of nearly 40 years at Connecticut College. The extensive and deep relationships with alumni, parents, and friends that he has developed put him in a rare position to harness that knowledge to garner even more support for our students, coaches, mentors, and facilities. The staff in Advancement is eager to build on that strength.

Over the past four decades at Conn, Fran has served as the head coach for men’s lacrosse, as the assistant coach for men’s ice hockey, as the head women’s soccer coach, and, for the past 16 years, as the director of athletics. In all of these positions, Fran has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to students, coaches, and staff that has made our program what it is today. In his new role, he will have the opportunity to take those efforts to a whole new level, building on a legacy that has meant so much to the College community.

With a key goal of our strategic plan that of making Conn even more competitive within the NESCAC, this is an exciting time to be a Camel. I look forward to seeing the difference Fran will make as we work to strengthen our program and prepare our scholar athletes for lives of even greater leadership and purpose.

Katherine Bergeron