Contact Development Staff

The University Development staff desires to establish and maintain relationships with individuals, foundations, and corporate donors for the support of the University and its students. We invite you to contact our office with any questions about how you can help support the mission of Cairn University.

Call us at 215.702.4390

Graham Thorpe

Graham Thorpe

Senior Vice President, Stewardship & Development
  • MS in Educational Leadership & Administration, Cairn University​​
  • MBA, Capella University
  • BS in Business, Eastern College​​

Graham has worked in development and advancement at Christian educational institutions for over a decade. He made the transition from relationship building in the sales world to engaging individuals and families in stewardship conversations that keep eternity in mind.

Prior to joining Cairn in 2020, Graham was the chief advancement officer at Annapolis Area Christian School in Maryland, where he is also an alumnus. His leadership role there included oversight of marketing, development, enrollment, and alumni relations. 

Originally from Annapolis, MD, Graham lives in Bucks County with his wife, Deanna, and their four children. He enjoys all things outdoor-related and is a lifelong Baltimore Ravens and Orioles fan.

Benjamin Best

Benjamin J. Best

Director, Development and Foundations
  • BS in Biblical and Theological Studies, Liberty University
  • MA (Religion), Cairn University
Ben came to Cairn University after working for more than a decade in business management. He previously worked in the Financial Aid Office before joining the Advancement team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biblical and theological studies and is pursuing a master’s degree at Cairn University. Ben is also an assistant pastor in a local church and is passionate about teaching and applying God’s Word to daily life. In his free time, Ben loves to rock climb, kayak, and be outdoors. He is often found playing the guitar; working on his vintage Fiat,  going on adventures with his family; and reading anything related to theology, philosophy, watches, or vintage automobiles.

Nicole da Silva

Development Operations Manager
  • BA in Music, Cairn University

Nicole provides operational, strategic, and administrative support to the office of Stewardship & Development. With a passion for the next generation, she brings a varied cross-cultural background, including office management, customer service, and event coordination.
Originally from Brazil, she enjoys singing, painting, and brewing her own kombucha. You can usually find her with a warm cup of tea in her hand, exploring new places, trying new foods, and learning more about God’s creation around us.