Colorado State University has filled one of its most important leadership roles with a proven leader who brings an extensive track record of fundraising and management success.
Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley today announced the appointment of Donald Fry as vice president of Development and Advancement, which concludes a national search for the post. Fry, who will start at Colorado State in early May, is director of Advancement at the College of Engineering at Purdue University.
"In Don Fry, we have a leader with not only a proven history of fundraising success but a professional with a clear understanding of how to build and manage a successful team," Penley said. "This position is critically important for Colorado State as we look to build closer ties with our key constituents and to increase private support. Colorado State is poised to do great things, and Don Fry will be instrumental in helping the institution reach its goals."
In his new role, Fry will be responsible for planning, developing and administering a coordinated universitywide effort to establish and strengthen ties with university constituents; providing effective communications to enhance the standing of Colorado State with internal and external audiences; raising private funds to support the strategic initiatives of the university; and overseeing effective recognition and stewardship programs for alumni, donors and friends.
"As we face the challenges and opportunities ahead, I am confident that Don Fry’s experience, intelligence and character will be a true asset to our leadership team and to the entire institution," Penley said. "We are thrilled to bring on board someone whose career prepares him so well for this position and whose personal goals and aspirations make him such a good fit for our university community."
Fry, who has been at Purdue since 1988, said he is looking forward to new and challenging opportunities at Colorado State.
"I have been impressed with the quality of the faculty, staff and students who I have met, and I am optimistic about the future of the university," Fry said. "While Colorado State, like many institutions around the country, is facing budgetary issues, I see a university that serves its state and nation well, offers a top-quality education and is a leader in numerous research areas. I’m excited to be part of that kind of quality institution."
In his role as director of Advancement at Purdue’s College of Engineering, Fry is responsible for Engineering’s efforts to raise $482 million as part of Purdue’s ongoing $1.3 billion capital campaign. To date, Fry and his colleagues have already reached 62 percent of their fundraising goal. Fry played a major role in Purdue’s previous $325 million capital campaign while serving as director of development in the School of Civil Engineering prior to taking the top advancement job in Engineering. Fry also has worked in alumni relations, admissions and as an associate professor during his tenure at Purdue.
Prior to joining the university, he was an active duty officer in the U.S. Army and rose through the ranks from an enlisted soldier to retire as a major.
Purdue is a land grant institution, renowned for its engineering programs, has a statewide extension and outreach mission and is a member of the Big Ten athletic Conference. Fry currently oversees Engineering Advancement that consists of 13 development officers, alumni relations and special events staff, and he coordinates the Advancement marketing and communications functions for the College of Engineering.
Penley said the Development and Advancement organization will be critical to the achievement of the university’s strategic initiatives in the areas of learning, discovery, financial stability and partnerships.
"Fundraising and alumni relations must match the successes achieved in research and teaching at Colorado State. With an improving economy, CSU has considerable opportunity ahead of it," Penley said. "Moreover, there is an important opportunity to sustain the momentum that has been provided by the recent, generous gifts made by the Bohemian Foundation and other close friends of Colorado State.
"There is a great affection for Colorado State University from alumni and friends who want to support the university in so many ways," Penley said. "It will be vital that CSU take advantage of this affection, growing its annual giving program while at the same time increasing its endowment."
Fry outlined some of the priorities he will address: "You can expect a national search to select the executive director of Alumni Relations, formation of new support groups for the university and a greater CSU presence in Denver and Colorado Springs. These changes will inject excitement and stimulate support for all academic programs as well as the Ram athletic department fundraising initiatives."
Fry and his wife, Becky, have two daughters and a son.
Last year, Colorado State awarded degrees to over 5,000 graduates, had its most successful fundraising year ever, including a $20 million gift, attracted nearly $190 million dollars in research funding and led the nation and world in research areas ranging from water, natural resources and veterinary medicine to laser technology, infectious disease and biomedical studies.
With more than 150 programs of study, more than 25,000 students enrolled in eight colleges and outreach offices throughout the state, Colorado State is recognized by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s premier public universities.