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UH Foundation President to Join Harvard Divinity School as Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations

UHF VP for Development Donna Vuchinich Named Acting President

University of Hawaiʻi
Lori Abe, (808) 956-6774
University of Hawaii Foundation
Kate Wester, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Feb 23, 2004

University of Hawaii Foundation (UHF) President Elizabeth "Betsy" Sloane has been named associate dean for development and alumni relations for Harvard Divinity School. Sloane will join Harvard in early April 2004 and Donna Vuchinich, vice president of development for UHF, will become acting president, effective April 1, 2004.

"Betsy has done a tremendous job over the last two years building the kind of high-caliber team and infrastructure that will be needed for the upcoming Centennial capital campaign," said UHF Board of Trustees Chairman Howard Karr. "More importantly, under Betsy‘s leadership, the foundation is well-positioned to generate increased private support, which is critical as we endeavor to achieve a world-class system of higher education in Hawaii."

As president, Sloane oversees all areas of the foundation including fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing, and overall operations. Since joining the foundation in March 2002, Sloane built the organization‘s professional staffing and infrastructure to support increased fundraising capacity. Over the past two years, development and alumni relations have been centralized at the foundation, bringing the staff count to 65 employees. Fiscal year 2003 fundraising levels are up 22.6 percent from the previous year. More than $18.2 million has been raised in the first eight months of the current fiscal year — a 19 percent increase over the same period last year — and the endowment has grown to $113.5 million as of January 2004.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with all of the wonderful supporters and friends of the University of Hawaii," said Sloane. "With the full support of the foundation‘s board of trustees, I feel very proud of the organization we‘ve been able to put into place. I am confident that fundraising and alumni relations activities on behalf of the university will continue on at full-speed."

Commented University of Hawaiʻi President Evan Dobelle, "Betsy came to Hawaii with the goal of increasing the visibility, efficiency and fund raising capability of the University of Hawaii Foundation. She has turned UHF around by hiring the very best people in the fund raising industry and setting the organization on a course to achieve those goals.

"Since her arrival, the foundation has dramatically increased private contributions and endowments. I personally want to thank her for the fantastic job she has done and the sacrifices she made to come to Hawaii. Harvard‘s decision to hire her speaks volumes of her talent and accomplishments."

Prior to her appointment as president of the UH Foundation, Sloane was co-founder and president of K@tapult, Inc., a Cambridge, MA firm. K@tapult provided services in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, program design and operations for colleges, hospitals, foundations, corporations and government agencies. She brought to the foundation more than 25 years of experience in strategic development planning, creating and managing public-private partnerships, and capital campaign planning and execution. She received her master‘s degree from the Yale University Divinity School and a BA from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

Upon Sloane‘s departure on March 31, 2004, Donna Vuchinich will become acting president of the foundation. In her current position as vice president of development, Vuchinich has overall responsibility for the foundation‘s fundraising performance. She also guides the relationships between and among the foundation, alumni and the university community, as a whole.

Vuchnich previously served as director of leadership gifts for the Oregon State University (OSU) Foundation and brings over 20 years of experience in the public university fundraising environment. At OSU, Vuchinich was responsible for implementation and management of the school‘s major and planned giving programs, with a particular emphasis on student aid priorities.

Previous to OSU, Vuchinich served as associate director of the development office at the University of New Mexico (UNM). She played a key role in the development and implementation of UNM‘s second capital campaign, which launched in 1989 with a target of $65 million and grew into a $100 million campaign. She is an alumna of UNM, where she earned degrees in liberal arts and management, and is a California State University-certified specialist in planned giving.