Hawai‘i - After 14 years at the helm, University of Hawai‘i Foundation President and CEO Donna Vuchinich is planning her retirement from her position. She will serve in her current role until a successor is named and assist with the transition to new leadership.
“For more than 35 years, Donna has dedicated herself to educational fundraising in the firm belief that higher education is uniquely situated to transform individual lives and our community,” said Catherine Ngo, UH Foundation Board of Trustees chair. She continued, “Thanks to her strategic thinking and unique leadership style, the UH Foundation has grown significantly in size and impact over the last 14 years.”
Ngo continued, “Accomplishments during her tenure include growing the UH Foundation endowment for the University of Hawai‘i from $85 million to more than $300 million and increasing funds raised for the University of Hawai‘i from $20 million a year to more than $70 million a year. With her eye on national best practices, Donna played a critical role in evolving and professionalizing the alumni engagement and fundraising services the UH Foundation provides to UH.” Ngo concluded, “We are immensely grateful for her steadfast leadership and all she has done to position the UH Foundation for a successful, seamless transition.”
Vuchinich joined the UH Foundation in September 2002 as vice president for development and was appointed president & CEO in June 2004. She was president and CEO when the UH Foundation reached the historic milestone of $1 billion raised in support of UH students and programs. During her tenure, the UH Foundation successfully completed two capital campaigns, the Centennial Campaign that raised $336 million with a goal of $250 million, and the most recent campaign to raise $500 million which concluded a year ahead of schedule.
“Donna has been absolutely tireless in her support and advocacy for the entire University of Hawaiʻi System,” said UH President David Lassner. “As philanthropy becomes even more important to the future of public higher education, the growth under her leadership and the foundation she has laid will be critical in helping us better serve the people of Hawaiʻi for decades and generations to come.”
In recognition of her leadership, and successful partnership with donors and the University, Vuchinich received prestigious awards including the 2017 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award and the 2011 Outstanding Professional Fundraiser, National Philanthropy Day (NPD) Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Prior to joining the UH Foundation, Vuchinich served in administrative and leadership positions with Oregon State University, and with the University of New Mexico and its Foundation. She has been active in organizations including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
Donna Vuchinich said, “I am so grateful to our donors, the UH Foundation team and our UH partners for all we have done together to elevate philanthropy for public education for Hawai‘i. It has been an honor to be part of history as major fundraising milestones for UH were reached. With the successful conclusion of the most recent capital campaign, and with planning now underway for the next campaign, I feel confident that the UH Foundation is in an excellent position to welcome new leadership. I’m looking forward to playing an active role in onboarding the new CEO as part of a successful transition.”
UH Foundation Board Chair Catherine Ngo will be appointing a search committee.
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The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations. www.uhfoundation.org