August 29, 2011
KNOXVILLE – Johnnie Ray, president and chief executive officer of the Arizona State University Foundation, will be recommended as the next vice president for development and alumni affairs at the University of Tennessee.
UT President Joe DiPietro will recommend Ray for election by the Board of Trustees, he announced today. The board will formally take up the election at its fall meeting Oct. 27-28.
The vice president for development and alumni affairs serves as the University's chief development officer and provides leadership, planning, coordination and management of development and alumni affairs programs for the entire multi-campus university system. The vice president also serves as president of the University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.
“Johnnie has extensive experience in fundraising at public and private universities across the country. As the University of Tennessee begins a new, interdependent model of development through our UT Foundation, it is critical for the University to turn the reins over to someone like Johnnie who has been instrumental in leading very successful large fundraising campaigns and building dynamic development organizations,” DiPietro said.
Ray has led the Arizona State University Foundation since 2007, and during that time, reorganized the operation to meet the needs of the university and aligned the foundation with the alumni association and public affairs.
"The University of Tennessee affects the lives of every citizen of Tennessee and beyond. It is an economic, social, and cultural driver of the first magnitude. I am privileged beyond words to be invited to be a part of this extraordinary place and to do my part to help UT fulfill its ambition and responsibility to serve the greater good,” Ray said.
Prior to serving Arizona State, Ray was senior vice president for development and university relations at Emory University, serving as chief executive of all external relations for the school. From 1997 to 2004, Ray was vice president for resource development at the University of Texas at Austin. At Texas, he led the school’s first comprehensive capital campaign, which raised $1.6 billion. He also has worked at Pennsylvania State University and McMurray University in Texas.
Ray earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Texas Tech University and started his career in television production and then public relations.
The UT Foundation is an interdependent not-for-profit created in 2001 to support the University of Tennessee's educational, research and public activities. As the preferred channel for all private contributions that benefit students and faculty at the University of Tennessee, UT Foundation staff members work with alumni and other prospective donors to secure funds for scholarships, professorships, research, outreach programs and other University initiatives.
As president and CEO of the foundation, the vice president also reports to the foundation board.
Effective July 2011, an affiliation and services agreement was signed to delineate further the roles and responsibilities of the foundation and its president, distinct from the University.
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