Allenby Stepping Down; Leaves
Strong Legacy of Fund Raising
By Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu
After nearly nine years of unprecedented development of the University's fund-raising capacity, Edward Allenby, vice president for institutional advancement and president of The University of Connecticut Foundation Inc., has announced that he plans to leave UConn in July.
Under his leadership, annual giving has increased 10-fold; the number of donors has increased to more than 33,000; and the
Allenby will take up a new position as vice president for development of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Annapolis, Md.
UConn's $300 million fund-raising campaign to raise endowments for scholarships, faculty support and program enhancements, announced in May 2001, has already reached 65 percent of its 2004 goal. And the investment performance of assets managed on behalf of the University by the UConn Foundation have typically ranked in the top 10 percent to 25 percent among higher education endowments nationwide during the past 10 years.
"It is impossible to overstate Ed Allenby's contributions to the University over the past eight and a half years," says President Philip E. Austin.
"These achievements required a keen strategic vision, energetic management, a unique talent in dealing with people whose support is essential to our progress and, above all, a deep commitment to the fundamental mission of the University," says Austin.
"Ed came to Connecticut at a time when many doubted that a major transformation would be possible, or that private support could play an important role in the institution's future. In no small measure, due to his efforts over the past several years, those doubts have been put to rest."
Throughout his tenure, Allenby has emphasized that private giving is indispensable to establishing and maintaining a margin of excellence, making the difference between a good and a great institution. And he made fund raising an integral part of the University's operation at all campuses and for all schools and colleges.
Soon after Allenby arrived in 1993, he played a key role in the strategic planning process, and in the creation and implementation of UConn 2000, the 10-year, $1 billion legislation underwriting infrastructure enhancement at the University. He was also instrumental in securing a state match for endowment gifts - an incentive to donors - as part of UConn 2000.
The number of endowed chairs, which enable the University to attract and retain top academics and provide them with the opportunity to conduct research and teach without concerns about funding, increased from 21 in 1995 to 51 in 2002.
Private funding is also helping establish additional merit and need-based scholarships to attract more of the state's top students to UConn. Both academic chairs and student scholarships are targeted for expansion as part of the capital campaign.
"Ed Allenby has been very, very supportive of the academic mission of the University," says Bob Whitlatch, a professor of marine sciences. "He has always been a good listener and provided strong guidance about how to translate academic wants and needs into ways to effect those goals in the development arena."
Whitlatch cites a recent half-million dollar contribution from the Northeast Utilities Foundation to support opportunities for minorities and underrepresented groups in marine sciences: "Ed played a very instrumental role in moving that proposal forward," he says.
Richard Schwab, MA '79, Ph.D. '80, dean of the Neag School of Education commends Allenby as a visionary leader with an outstanding ability to articulate the mission and vision of a each of a dozen schools and colleges.
"Fund raising is not just about going out and asking for money," Schwab says. "It requires a very bright person who can understand the academic goals of a school, translate them into language a wide range of people can understand, and build relationships with people."
Schwab says Allenby was key to securing the 1999 landmark gift from alumnus Raymond Neag '56: "Putting together the Neag gift was truly a team effort and Ed Allenby was the primary person who pulled it all together and made it happen."
The $23 million gift was the largest ever made to a public university in New England, and the $21 million portion given to the Neag School of Education is recognized as a record donation for a school of education in the United States. The remaining $2 million established an endowed chair in vascular biology at the Health Center.
Allenby has been responsible for organizing the entire advancement effort for the University, including the development of a strategic communications plan to clearly and consistently convey the University's direction to its various constituencies.
Under his leadership, the University's externally-related departments have been restructured and integrated. These include the former development office, publications services, and institutional relations, the Alumni Association, and the UConn Foundation, the entity responsible for soliciting philanthropic contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations in support of the University. In 1999, the Foundation moved into an imposing new, privately-funded facility on Alumni Drive.
Allenby has spearheaded a concerted effort to reach out to people with ties to the University all over the country and around the world. The alumni publication, Traditions, launched in 1995, is now distributed to 164,000 alumni and friends.
"The outreach is tremendous," says Richard Treibick, chair of the Board of Trustees' Institutional Advancement Committee and a member of the Foundation Board of Directors. "The University is now in constant communication with alumni, and in the last eight and a half years has contacted every potential major donor in the United States."
The full impact of Allenby's fund-raising success is yet to come. "Many of the programs are in their infancy now," says Treibick, citing the Connecticut Information Technology Institute at the Stamford campus as an example: "CITI was the result of working very hard at fund raising," he says, and networking with local businesses and the community to leverage money for the program.
Allenby says his new role at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation provides an opportunity to be near his family, and to contribute professionally to an environmental organization about which he feels passionate. The Allenbys' two sons, Dan and Mike '98, live in Maryland. Their daughter Sarah graduated from UConn in May.
An event to bid farewell to Ed and Kathy Allenby will be announced soon. A nationwide search will be held to find Allenby's successor.