Thursday July 17, 2008

Westward Expansion

As part of UD's westward expansion, the advancement division is consolidating its staff into one location: the sixth floor of the College Park Center, Brown and Stewart streets.

When advancement records manager Debbie Stoner came to work at UD in 1976, University advancement consisted of a handful of people working for Tom Frericks.

"Yes — the athletic director," she said. "The office was University relations and athletics. Clete Oberst and Elwood Zimmer did a little bit of planned giving, and Brother Elmer Lackner oversaw the records." Mary Shay, who lived on College Park and was called "Miss UD" in the third person, almost singlehandedly managed alumni relations, Stoner said. UD Quarterly editor Tom Columbus, who came to UD in 1967 and joined University relations a year later, was editing and writing for Alumnus, the alumni periodical, and Campus Report, the faculty/staff newspaper.

But as yet, the term "University advancement" hadn't entered the UD lexicon, and the telefund was still 10 years off.

Since then, advancement has come a long way. This month, the division's nearly 100 full- and part-time staff begin their move to the sixth floor of College Park Center, the former National Cash Register factory that now houses UD's Dayton Early College Academy, public safety, facilities management and UD Printing and Design, among other offices.

The move will bring all of the division — advancement resources, alumni records, donor and constituent relations, University communications (formerly public relations), development, alumni relations, annual? giving and marketing — into one location, said Deborah Read, vice president for University advancement.

"The move will allow us the opportunity to work closer together and collaborate on initiatives that advance the University," Read said.

In the process, the Alumni House will be closing, and the offices vacated in St. Mary Hall will be renovated for administrative and academic leadership.

"Being physically all together will create better communication and allow for smoother processing of records," Stoner said. "That will be nice."

As UD's advancement efforts have gained sophistication and priority, the division has grown to support those efforts. Being in one location should be practical, said Regis Lekan, assistant vice president for gift planning.

"While we will miss the informal interaction with people on campus ... we'll be physically assembled in one space, thereby making our communication with each other that much easier," Lekan said. "We'll be developing the best kind of interaction, which is interpersonal."

Advancement's Advance

For the past 20 years, the advancement division has been a catalyst for bringing UD's vision to fruition. UD's first large-scale campaign, Making our Best Better, raised $43 million in the mid-1980s — 13 percent more than the goal of $38 million.

"At the time, it was the largest fund-raising campaign conducted in Dayton," Lekan said.

A decade later, The Call to Lead campaign raised $158 million as UD approached its sesquicentennial celebration in 2000. More importantly, though, the campaign raised UD's image as a top-tier national, doctoral-level university and one of the 10 best Catholic universities in the nation, said Teri Rizvi, associate vice president for communications.

UD is now preparing for another major campaign to support the objectives named in UD's strategic plan, whose guiding principle is excellence in transformative education. This calls for strengthening UD's distinctive Catholic and Marianist identity; enriching undergraduate and graduate education; emphasizing scholarship, research and the arts; supporting UD's campus learning environment; developing leadership in and beyond the UD community; promoting multicultural and international learning; and building regional relationships and service.

Student scholarships are a top priority, followed by programs and faculty, facilities, and operating support for programs and initiatives, said President Daniel J. Curran.

A Walk in the College Park

For Stoner and her team, this month's move won't be the first. In 1991, they changed not only offices, but divisions, spending five years in that era's iteration of UDit — the Office for Computing Activities, or OCA. That move was inspired by the computerization of alumni records. It took a solid year of data entry on day and night shifts to convert bins upon bins of data cards - more than 78,000 alumni, parents, friends and businesses, all told — to the Alumni Development Datatel database, Stoner said. Relatively speaking, this move's a snap.

Campus ZIPs Changing

People in advancement will keep their phone numbers, but their campus ZIP codes will change:

  • Advancement resources: +2960
  • Alumni records: +2961
  • Constituent relations: +2962
  • University communications (formerly public relations): +2963
  • Development: +2964
  • Alumni relations: +2965
  • Annual giving: +2966
  • Marketing: +2967

-- by Maureen Schlangen;

Rachel DeHart, temporary UD archivist,

contributed to this report.