July 27, 2018

UConn Foundation taps interim CEO; notches record donations in '18

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
John Fodor will serve as interim president and CEO of the UConn Foundation effective Aug. 21.

UConn's fundraising arm announced Friday it named a recently retired global distribution executive as its interim chief executive to succeed outgoing CEO and President Joshua R. Newton.

John Fodor will become interim president and CEO of the UConn Foundation Aug. 21 after recently retiring as executive vice president of the Capital Group, home of American Funds, for 22 years. Fodor will replace Newton, who will serve his last day Aug. 15 before he returns home to Atlanta's Emory University.

The Foundation says it notched nearly $400 million in private fund pledges during Newton's five-year tenure. Its endowment grew 30 percent under his leadership, they said.

Fodor, a 1985 UConn graduate, will serve in the interim post until the school hires Newton's permanent replacement in the coming months.

Foundation Board Chairman Dan Toscano said he is confident Fodor, a Southborough, Mass., native, will build off Newton's fundraising successes given his long-term involvement with the foundation.

"He understands that the Foundation has enjoyed tremendous success over the last few years—amassing the strongest four-year fundraising total in its history—and that the momentum must continue," Toscano said.

Fodor serves on the UConn School of Business Dean's Advisory Cabinet and was named the 2012-13 Outstanding Alumnus for his guest lecturing and support of the school's marketing unit. He was inducted into the school of business's Hall of Fame in 2017.

Record donations in '18

Fodor's appointment follows a successful fundraising campaign during fiscal year 2018.

Despite a national downturn in charitable giving, the Foundation said it raised $82.4 million in contributions and pledges in 2018, up 15 percent from a year earlier. That represented the Foundation's largest total annual haul in its 54-year history.

The strong year represents the Foundation's first year-over-year donation increase since 2013. It resulted, officials said, from new solicitation strategies such as its UConn Gives program held for the first time in April.

The fundraising totals included a $22.5 million gift from Peter J. Werth, the founder of Woodbridge manufacturer Chemwerth Inc., to spur the school's innovation and entrepreneurship.

People have committed to over $300 million in donations over the last four fiscal years, the Foundation said.

Meantime, the Foundation reported that UConn's endowments have jumped to $440 million compared to the $42 million it totaled in 1995.

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