Appointment of New Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs

Published: March 16th, 2010

Category: Memos

Bernie Machen, President

After a nationwide search, I am pleased to announce that Thomas J. Mitchell will become the University of Florida’s new vice president for development and alumni affairs. In this role, he will lead the university’s fundraising efforts as the head of the UF Foundation and direct the resources of the UF Alumni Association.

Since 2002, he has served as vice chancellor of university advancement of the University of California, Irvine, and president of the UC Irvine Foundation. He comes to UF with a wealth of university fundraising experience. He was recognized this month by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as one of two people nationwide who has made extraordinary contributions to the advancement, quality and effectiveness of his university foundation and to the field of higher education foundations.

He begins at UF on June 1 and replaces Paul Robell who is stepping down as vice president after 15 years.

With an impressive track record and more than two decades of university fundraising experience, Tom Mitchell has an ideal skill-set to continue a legacy of excellence established under Paul’s leadership. I’m pleased he’s agreed to join us in Gainesville and the UF leadership team.

With more than 24 years of experience in higher education fundraising, Tom Mitchell is recognized as a national thought leader in philanthropic program development. His advancement team has been honored with 55 CASE Awards, recognizing excellence.

Under his direction, annual private support has increased 265 percent and the endowment has doubled in size. Mitchell led the planning, implementation and management of UC Irvine’s $1 billion Shaping the Future Campaign.

“I am excited about joining one of the nation’s premier institutions of higher education. It is my hope to build upon the great work of President Machen and Paul Robell,” Mitchell said. “This is an exceptional opportunity and I am honored and humbled to be selected.”

Prior to his time in California, he served as associate vice president and as president of the Iowa State University Foundation as well as vice president for development at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. He also served the University of Nebraska system in various development positions. An avid sports fan, Mitchell coached several basketball teams in Nebraska and Iowa early in his career.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education and business administration from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s in education administration from the University of Nebraska.

Paul Robell has agreed to stay with the UF Foundation part-time through the end of the Florida Tomorrow capital campaign which aims to raise $1.5 billion. Since 1987 when Robell started at the UF Foundation as a capital campaign director, more than $2.25 billion has been raised in private gifts and pledges in the three capital campaigns he has led.

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