Foundation CEO says goodbye
After three years as the University of Newcastle Foundation's inaugural Chief Executive Officer, Louise O'Connell is still amazed by people's capacity to give.
Louise, who moved on from her position at the Foundation last week, said her role had been a humbling experience that had opened her eyes to the power of education, as well as to the high regard in which the University was held within the community - both locally and beyond.
"I have witnessed incredible generosity from our donors who all contribute to the University in many ways and with open hearts," Ms O'Connell said.
"Education has the power to transform lives and being able to help people invest in education through giving has been an honour."
Success built on passion
Louise's passion for the Foundation has seen her build on the wonderful work of her predecessor Dr Bernie Curran to develop a highly professional fundraising team implementing best practices in donor management and business systems.
As a result, the Foundation has continued to experience strong growth for new donor and sponsor funds. In 2011, donors gave more than $5 million in new gifts, compared to $2 million in 2008.
"The support we have received from incredible individuals, as well as from industry, business, the community and our alumni is quite amazing. Indeed, the University's very own staff is a generous pool of donors.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has given to the University - through scholarships, research donations, bequests and personal gifts - from the bottom of my heart," Ms O'Connell said.
Shaping the future
University Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen said Louise's contribution to the work of the Foundation ensured it would continue to attract and manage funds for the University well into the future.
"Under Louise's leadership, the Foundation team has been successful in achieving substantial year-on-year growth," Professor McMillen said.
"She has significantly raised the profile of the Foundation through strong engagement with media and the community - the resoundingly positive feedback I have received donors, students and the community is a testament to the dedication and diligence of Louise and her team."
How you can give
As a member of staff you can support existing University of Newcastle Foundation projects that are important to you. The Staff Voluntary Salary Deduction Scheme allows you to arrange automatic payroll deductions to the University of Newcastle Foundation for the purpose of your choice. These donations are tax deductible, provided there is no tangible benefit to the donor.
To make a donation via staff voluntary salary deductions, please download this form and send it to Human Resources.