USM Foundation

LeaderNotes Summer 2023

on August 15, 2023 by Micaela Cameron

The latest edition of LeaderNotes is available. This edition includes a Letter from the President, a Board Meeting Recap, Gifts Across the System, and more.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It’s hard to believe that we have welcomed the start of another fiscal year! Time certainly flies. Since our last LeaderNotes, there have been a number of developments that I am happy to share with you. However, I would be remiss if I did not start this letter by thanking the Foundation Board for all of their hard work this past year – especially Board Chair Don Scheeler, who has completed his first year as chair with a ceaseless positive spirit. We are so thankful for his leadership. We recently welcomed six new dynamic directors to the Board and you can read more about them later on in this newsletter.

Within the Foundation office, our teams have been hard at work. The advancement team has facilitated professional development webinars and seminars that were well-attended by staff across the USM working in advancement and alumni relations roles. Topics included: the basics of donor analysis, implicit bias trainings, writing clear paragraphs, and dementia and philanthropy. Also of note, our own Stephanie Senserini, director of professional development, hosted a wonderfully-received in-person seminar, “Dining Out with Donors,” which taught fundraisers proper etiquette when dining with prospective donors. Additionally, the team and the Alumni Relations Committee hosted its annual Alumni Relations Summit at Bowie State University in mid-June. More than 70 USM professionals working in the field of alumni relations attended.

Additionally, I am pleased to announce two promotions on our team. Carrie Browne was named Director of Board Relations in recognition of her increasing responsibilities in managing the Foundation’s Board. Marianne Horrigan was named Senior Vice President of Board Relations, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, acknowledging her leadership on several fronts, including rebuilding and improving our board and board experience, assisting with leadership transitions, and working with the team on DEI issues.

The Business Office finalized and filed Foundation’s annual Form 990. A major focus of the past year has been on compliance, with the Foundation validating many of its current practices and working on formalizing and documenting practices. We are improving our culture of compliance, making this Foundation a stronger organization.
The investment team concluded a successful spring semester for its internship program, providing an extracurricular opportunity for five UMCP interns to learn about the endowment model. The students met with our staff weekly and conducted several onsite visits with our strategic partners throughout the semester. We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to our interns who graduated in May!
The investment team additionally hosted multiple client meetings across the University System. The team continues to engage with existing and prospective portfolio managers, both domestically and internationally. Collectively, the team’s continuous diligence efforts require hundreds of meetings with external fund managers as well as regular participation in industry conferences.

Lastly, for investment team news, I would like to welcome investment analyst Kelly Emson to the team. Kelly comes to us from Cambridge Associates, where she also served as an investment analyst for three years. We also want to congratulate Interim Chief Investment Officer Sharcus Steen, who was elected as a public member of the $64 billion Maryland State Retirement and Pension System for a three-year term on the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees, starting in July 2023.

Board members Don Scheeler and Harry Johnson, and CFO Tom Gilbert presented a panel discussion, which I facilitated at a recent University of Maryland, College Park Foundation meeting. The presentation spoke to our history, mission, vision, values, who and how we serve, and the make-up of our Board.

I was recently re-elected to continue to serve as Treasurer for the State of Maryland Marketing Partnership Board of Directors. USM Foundation Board member Ali von Paris, who is also on the Maryland Marketing Partnership Board of Directors, was elected to serve as Secretary of the Board. The Maryland Marketing Partnership was created to develop a branding strategy for the state, market the state’s assets and encourage the location and growth of new businesses in Maryland.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge two USM institutions who have had amazing success in fundraising. Bowie State University has met its goal to raise $50 million as part of BSU Bold: The Campaign for Excellence two and a half years ahead of its scheduled closing date. This is the largest campaign in the history of the university.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions you may have!


Leonard R. Raley

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