HomeAbout RNLHistory of Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) and its predecessor organizations, RuffaloCODY and Noel-Levitz, have helped higher education and nonprofit organizations meet their challenges and exceed their goals.


Williams Crockett is founded in Chicago, then relocates to Colorado. It is a pioneer in the emerging field of enrollment management.


Dr. Lee Noel and Dr. Randi Levitz leave their positions at ACT’s National Center for the Advancement of Educational Practices to found Noel-Levitz in Iowa City, Iowa. They quickly become national authorities on student recruitment and retention, publishing the landmark book Increasing Student Retention in 1985.


Noel-Levitz convenes the inaugural National Conference on Student Retention, attracting 1200 participants to one of the first events dedicated to college student success. The event has been held every year since, eventually broadening to the National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing, and Retention.


Noel-Levitz launches the Retention Management System, the first early-alert and intervention system for college student retention.


RuffaloCODY is founded in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Al Ruffalo and four partners create the company to advance enrollment and fundraising management for colleges and nonprofit organizations.


Noel-Levitz and Williams Crockett merge into Noel-Levitz.


Noel-Levitz introduces financial aid leveraging, a major advance for making financial aid awarding more strategic, systematic, and data-informed.


RuffaloCODY introduces CAMPUSCALL, a revolutionary software platform for fundraising phonathon.

In the same year, Noel-Levitz launches the Student Satisfaction Inventory, an instrument for measuring student satisfaction and priorities. More than 2,400 campuses have used it.


Inc. magazine ranks RuffaloCODY 26th on its list of the 500 fastest-growing companies.


Noel-Levitz launches its predictive modeling, ForecastPlus, bringing an unprecedented level of accuracy in predicting the likelihood of a prospective student enrolling.


RuffaloCODY creates CAMPUSCALL for telecounseling, giving enrollment managers the same robust system for managing phone outreach to prospective students.


Noel-Levitz begins its Higher Education Benchmark research series, one of the preeminent research series on the most popular and effective practices for enrollment management.


RuffaloCODY is ranked on Inc. magazine’s top 5000 companies, and would continue to make the list for seven consecutive years.


Noel-Levitz publishes Strategic Enrollment Planning, the first comprehensive look at the subject.

RuffaloCODY acquires Scannell & Kurz, a leading enrollment management and consulting firm.


RuffaloCODY adds The Austen Group, a respected higher education research firm, as part of our market research services for higher education.


RuffaloCODY acquires ScaleFunder, a platform that applies the new technique of crowdfunding to fundraising for higher education and nonprofit organizations.

That fall, RuffaloCODY and Noel-Levitz merge to become Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Their vision: to lead the charge to excellence in enrollment and fundraising management, helping organizations meet their challenges and fulfill their missions.


Ruffalo Noel Levitz introduces its Giving Day module, part of the ScaleFunder platform, to help organizations manage and greatly increase their fundraising results from increasingly popular giving day events.


Ruffalo Noel Levitz launches Complete Enrollment, the most comprehensive portfolio of services for enrollment management and student success.


RNL Logo registeredRuffalo Noel Levitz debuts its new logo and RNL branding when it launches a new website in April.

RNL acquires Converge, the digital marketing agency for higher education, serving more than 100 institutions and 300 programs. The strategic acquisition enhances RNL’s existing solutions for digital marketing for enrollment and fundraising, as well as its solutions for adult, online, and graduate student enrollment.

RNL acquires Render Experiences, the authority for on-campus student visit experiences. This acquisition will help institutions align their recruitment campaigns and campus visit programs more closely with their enrollment goals.

RNL acquires QuadWrangle, the AI-driven alumni engagement platform that makes it easier for colleges and universities to deliver personalized content to their constituents based on their interests.


As donor engagement increasingly becomes more of a digital enterprise, RNL launches two major fundraising solutions. The RNL Engage fundraising platform provides institutions with a true omnichannel donor engagement platform that incorporates texting, personalized video, email, and calling. That platform then powers the RNL Digital Engagement Center, the evolution of the traditional phonathon. These two innovations also allow colleges and universities to manage their student fundraising ambassadors remotely when the COVID pandemic closes all campus-based fundraising centers.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, RNL transforms the RNL National Conference into the company’s first ever virtual event. More than 1,500 higher education professionals attend the online event. RNL also launches the online Advancement Innovation Summit, attracting more than 1,400 fundraising professionals.


RNL acquires Helix Education. The addition of Helix’s technology, processes, and people enhances RNL’s ability to help institutions recruit and retain adult, graduate, and online students while also improving the quality of the student experience.

The addition of Helix paves the way for the launch of RNL Enable for Graduate and Online Enrollment. This comprehensive suite of solutions provides colleges and universities with research, strategy, marketing and recruitment, retention, and instructional design services for the growing number of graduate and online students.

Today’s RNL team operates from offices throughout the United States and abroad. The firm is owned by Summit Partners, Quad Partners, and its management team, and is directed by an eight-member board of directors.


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