Office of Advancement Staff

Cindy Benson
Bob Fuzy

Tonya Judge 
John Lefler '66
Jo Ellen Newsome '93, '13

David Smith

Cindy Benson, Director of Advancement Services
(704) 463-3074

Cindy Benson Cindy has been a part of Pfeiffer’s Advancement Team since 1992 and currently manages the alumni/donor database, providing research, analysis and reporting for Pfeiffer’s fundraising and engagement efforts. She has also served the University as a campaign coordinator, grant writer, and development director.

Before joining the Pfeiffer family, Cindy worked as director of communication for two other United Methodist related schools – Lambuth University, in Jackson, TN, and Baker University, in Baldwin City, KS. She is a journalism school graduate of the University of Kansas.

Cindy and her husband, Ron, live in Davidson, N.C. Two of their three children, Dr. Cathy Benson Laws ’02 and Michael Benson ’12, and a daughter-in-law, Audrey Remkus Benson ’12, are Pfeiffer graduates.

Bob Fuzy, Vice President for Advancement
(704) 463-3076

Bob Fuzy Bob is responsible for directing institutional fundraising operations and overseeing alumni affairs and grant writing. He will apply a professional track record of success to his role as he gets to know alumni and friends of Pfeiffer University.

At Spartanburg Methodist College, where Fuzy led a $15 million campaign, and Furman University, Clemson University, Newberry College and Indiana Institute of Technology, where he directed major gifts and created campaign plans and strategy, he developed a specific expertise for building relationships in higher education environments. Additional experience in philanthropy, private secondary education and the private sector helped him develop particular strengths in campaign leadership, overall fundraising, and staff development.

Tonya JudgeSociety and Sponsorship Director
(704) 463-3038

Tonya Judge Tonya has been with Pfeiffer University, since 2014. She began her tenor as Student Development Operations Manager and then joined the advancement office in 2016. She works in donor relations where she manages stewardship activities, society gifts, and community sponsorships. She represents Pfeiffer as an Ambassador for the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Albemarle Rotary.

Tonya brings with her over 13 years’ experience in non-profit marketing, fundraising, event planning and volunteer management.

John Lefler '66, Philanthropic Advisor for Planned Giving
(704) 463-3039

John Lefler John currently leads the university's planned giving fundraising efforts as a philanthropic advisor to the Emily Prudden Heritage Society. Also, he assists in the identification and cultivation of new donors and major gift prospects.
John has been a fundraising professional for the past forty years. In that capacity, he has assisted colleges and universities, healthcare initiatives, community service organizations, and related ministries throughout the southeastern United States. His career includes success in grantsmanship, annual and major gifts fundraising, and estate gift development. Before his retirement from full-time service in 2007, he concluded twenty-three years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at High Point University.
His book, Ten Golden Nuggets, a Pocket Guide to Fundraising Success, was published in 2012 to assist staff and volunteers who are called upon to raise money for their respective nonprofit organizations.
Lefler attended Duke University and is a 1966 graduate of Pfeiffer. He and his wife, Annabeal ('66), reside in Misenheimer, N.C. They have two daughters, five grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.

Jo Ellen Newsome '93, '13, Executive Director of Advancement
(704) 463-3222

Jo Ellen began her Pfeiffer career as a work-study student in the Advancement Office, and went on to join the staff as a professional in 1996. Since that time, she has served Pfeiffer in numerous roles including development officer, grant writer, and associate vice president for advancement. Jo Ellen draws on this varied experience in her current role of executive director of advancement. She holds two Pfeiffer degrees and is married to Britt Newsome ’99.  Britt and Jo Ellen reside in New London with their two children, Jonathan and Catherine.  

David Smith, Grant Writer
(704) 463-3102

David Smith David has been with Pfeiffer since September 2014. He has nearly fifteen years of experience in nonprofit program evaluation, management and grant and proposal writing, including five years, writing grants and proposals at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he also earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing.

A native of southeastern North Carolina, David currently resides in unincorporated Stanly County, where he enjoys reading, writing fiction, kayaking and listening to the whippoorwills.