Soyeon Shim Receives Faculty Fundraising Award
After spearheading a $25 million fundraising campaign to build the new McClelland Park building to house the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, school director Soyeon Shim has been honored with The University of Arizona Foundation's Eugene G. Sander Endowed Faculty Fundraising Award.
Shim wasn't the only one in for a surprise when she was presented with a plaque for her efforts by the UA Foundation on Thursday. Eugene Sander, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was also presented with a plaque as he learned for the first time that the annual award will bear his name.
"I was absolutely totally surprised," Sander said. "I must admit that I'm really honored."
The award, endowed by the UA Foundation board this fall and to be given annually, honors faculty members who have shown leadership in fundraising for the University.
"When the UA Foundation established an award to honor faculty members, Gene was an obvious and deserving choice" for the award name, said Jim Moore, president and CEO of the UA Foundation.
Sander founded, and for 21 years chaired, the Deans Plus Development Committee (he added the Plus to the name to include the non-deans involved) to encourage active fundraising involvement at the college and unit level. He is credited with helping raise tens of millions of dollars in private contributions since joining the UA in 1987.
While the state budget crisis emphasizes the importance of private funding sources for universities, Sander noted that private support has grown increasingly important in recent years.
"State support for public universities has been declining easily for 30 years," he said.
Of inaugural award recipient Shim, Sander said: "She's an absolute wonder."
Shim, who was hired by Sander 20 years ago, has been director of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences for the past 10 years and has been dedicated to private fundraising activities in a variety of ways throughout her career at the UA.
Most recently, she led a privately funded $25 million capital campaign to build the 72,000-square-foot McClelland Park building near Park Avenue and Fourth Street.
The School of Family and Consumer Sciences moved into the new building from its previous home in the Family and Consumer Sciences building earlier this year.
Shim said the new building will give the program more visibility and help it grow, and she knows the approximately 2,000 people who donated to the campaign will see a good return on their investment.
"Dr. Shim's individual passion for her program and her desire to help students and colleagues is exactly what is necessary to engage donors at a leadership level," Moore said. "The McClelland Park building is an amazing example of faculty-led philanthropy."
Shim said she was in "shock mode" when she learned she'd won the award from the UA Foundation.
She believes deans and department heads should take an active role in fundraising.
"Faculty program directors need to be involved; it's not just the Foundation's job," she said.
Winners of the Eugene G. Sander Endowed Faculty Fundraising Award will receive a certificate plus the annual payout from the endowment, which is to be used for professional development or to support and build the fundraising program for their college or unit. Their names are listed on a plaque displayed in the Swede Johnson building, the location of the UA Foundation offices.