Philanthropist and former finance executive at The Blackstone Group

Pamela D. Zilly ’75 made her name in finance when women were significantly underrepresented across the business sector. In fact, she became the first woman to be named partner at The Blackstone Group, an alternative investment management company based in New York City, where she retired as senior managing director in 2009.

Retirement never slowed Zilly down. An active supporter of the performing arts, she joined the board of the American Theatre Wing in 2012 and has served as a vice chair. She previously served as a trustee of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, and as a member of the business advisory board of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Her bond with Conn has continued to flourish since she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude and with distinction in economics and American history. She served on the College’s Board of Trustees as chair from 2012 to 2018. Under her leadership, the College opened a state-of-the-art science center, built the Zachs Hillel house, created the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement, and reopened the Charles E. Shain Library after a transformational renovation. She also served as chair of the Finance Committee and led the 2012-13 Presidential Search Committee. She’s currently a co-chair of Defy Boundaries, Conn’s most ambitious campaign in its history. 

“I am honored to give back to a place that has meant so much to me and my sister, Deborah Z. Woodworth ’72,” Zilly said, reflecting on her longstanding commitment to Conn.

Regarding the future of the College, Zilly pointed to the current campaign to help strengthen the residential education for generations to come. “Now is a time to be bold in our aspirations for Connecticut College. I look forward to my continued involvement in supporting the exemplary liberal arts education that the College provides.”

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