March 23, 2009

McCurry honored as educational foundation leader

by Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s chief fundraiser is a recipient of the CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation award.

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation, is one of two educational foundation leaders receiving the honor. McCurry and Elizabeth King, president and chief executive officer of the Wichita State University Foundation, were both cited for their extraordinary contributions and longtime support of their foundations and the overall profession.

McCurry and King will be honored March 25 during ceremonies at the 17th Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

“While my name may be on the award, this honor is a testament to the leadership of the Foundation Board, the hard work of our staff and the generous support of our friends and donors,” McCurry says. “I am honored to have the opportunity to accept this award on behalf of all of those individuals and Southern Illinois University.

McCurry has served as vice chancellor for institutional advancement and Foundation CEO at SIU Carbondale since 2000. Under his leadership, Southern’s endowment has grown from $42 million to $85 million, and, the University completed its first comprehensive campaign in June 2008, surpassing its $100 million goal by $6 million. McCurry is credited with building a strong relationship between the University and its foundation, which has created stronger teamwork between departments and a broader understanding of fundraising. He has also worked closely with the university’s board and encouraged members to interact with foundation directors to identify best practices.

The Humboldt, Tenn., native oversees the activities of the SIU Foundation, the SIU Alumni Association, Constituent Relations and Special Events, and Advancement Services. Prior to joining Southern Illinois University, McCurry served as associate vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs, and campaign director at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has been in the advancement profession for 25 years.

The awards are underwritten by Commonfund, a nonprofit corporation with more than 1,800 members and more than $40 billion in assets under management. Commonfund provides fund management services and investment advice to educational institutions, hospitals, foundations and other nonprofits.

McCurry received another prestigious honor in December. The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), formed in 1887, appointed McCurry to the executive committee of its Council on Strategic Communications and Advancement. McCurry is serving a three-year term with the council, which provides a forum for examining concerns of campus professionals in communications and public affairs, development and fundraising, and alumni relations. NASULGC is the nation’s oldest higher education association.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is one of the largest international associations of education institutions, serving more than 3,400 universities, colleges, and independent primary and secondary schools in 61 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information and standards in the fields of educational fundraising, communications and marketing, and alumni relations.