Alison Thornton

Alison ThorntonPhoto credit: Mark Stehle

WHO SHE IS: Campaign Coordinator, Morris Arboretum

TIME AT PENN: Thornton has served in her current role since August. She previously worked at the Arboretum from 2003-2006.

WHAT SHE DOES: Thornton was brought back to the Arboretum, after a short stint at Penn State’s Delaware County campus, specifically to help lead an upcoming Capital Campaign. The campaign will kick off in April. “I’ve learned that [in development] you have to believe in the program you’re working for,” she says. “As wonderful as an institution that Penn State is, I missed the Arboretum, and I was delighted when I learned a position was opening in the development office.”

A PERFECT FIT: Thornton is uniquely qualified for her new job. While working toward her horticulture degree at Penn, Thornton also was an intern in development at Temple-Ambler. “I thought I would be very lucky if I could ever find a job that would actually combine [horticulture and development],” she says.

TAKE A WALK: Even though she’s had a lifelong love of gardening and has, just outside of her office door, one of the finest gardens in all of America, Thornton says she has to sometimes force herself to take it all in—but she’s always glad when she does. “During the workday we stay pretty busy, and there’s always so much going on, so it’s hard to get out. Recently, I insisted that I go out and see the witch hazels blooming. Sometimes, I just really need to get myself out there.”

Originally published on March 27, 2008