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Letter to the community on appointment of Julie Lucas

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The following email was sent today to the Institute community by MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

To the members of the MIT community:

With great pleasure, I share the news that Julie Lucas, associate senior vice president for advancement at the University of Southern California, will join MIT as vice president for resource development, beginning in November.

Introducing Vice President for Resource Development Julie Lucas

Almost exactly a year ago, we announced that former vice president for resource development Jeff Newton would be retiring; since then, we have engaged in a national search for the inspiring, energetic fundraising leader who will help us achieve our ambitions for MIT through the coming Campaign.

Through a 20-year career in higher education — at USC, NYU and Fordham — Julie has built an exceptional record of fundraising success, from securing transformational gifts in support of USC's current $6 billion campaign — $3.6 billion of which has been raised to date — to dramatically increasing the scale of giving and rates of participation at every institution she has served. Most recently, she spearheaded fundraising for the University Village, the largest economic-development project in the history of Southern Los Angeles; led a global fundraising initiative for USC; and coordinated the 300-person fundraising staff that serves USC's 15 schools.

I am confident that Julie's strategic insight, creative energy and passion for advancing the mission of higher education will serve MIT very well, and I look forward to working with her as the Campaign unfolds.

Gratitude to our fundraising leaders and staff

As we welcome Julie, I must express my profound gratitude to those who have kept our fundraising efforts on course and gaining momentum through this transition. The staff of Resource Development and the Alumni Association as well as our School Development Officers handled the challenges of this year with unfailing professionalism, patience and grace. Because they stayed positive and confident, our donors did, too: The fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014, was the second strongest year for philanthropic fundraising in our history.

Credit for that remarkable result belongs to our fundraising team, to our alumni and Corporation volunteers — and especially to the person who rose to the challenge of steering Resource Development through this uncertain time: Institute Vice President and Secretary of the MIT Corporation Kirk Kolenbrander.

Kirk is a consummate colleague. A year ago, he accepted this serious new assignment, in addition to his existing job, in a field he had never worked in before — and he delivered superb results. I cannot express the depth of my personal gratitude and admiration for his willing spirit, dogged perseverance and masterful management, qualities I will continue to count on as we pursue the Institute's ambitious priorities together. I have been inspired by watching him perform in this challenging role, and I hope you will join me in thanking him for his extraordinary service to MIT over the past year.

#              #

Julie Lucas' record includes many impressive numbers. But another line in her résumé also stood out for me:

"Develops relationships … internally and externally … one-on-one and with groups … to create enduring communities."

That is how we do fundraising at MIT: As we build relationships with MIT alumni and friends, we create enduring communities that will — eagerly and joyfully — support the Institute's mission for generations to come.

With our leadership team in place — let's get to work!


L. Rafael Reif

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