Cartwright key fundraiser, spokesperson for KSU

Amanda Garrett

During her 15-year tenure, Kent State President Carol Cartwright helped raise more than $120 million for the university in her role as chief spokesperson and fundraiser.

Being a prominent person is part of a university president’s job requirement, Cartwright said.

“In today’s world it’s good to have many friends in many different sectors,” she said. “A university president has to establish good partnerships both internally within the university system and externally by establishing relationships with corporate and foundation leaders.”

Since becoming president in 1991, Cartwright used her prominence to be an effective fundraiser for Kent State, said Kathy Stafford, vice president of University Relations and Development.

“Dr. Cartwright has such a high level of respect in the higher education community,” she said. “She’s the best person at demonstrating what Kent State means to the region that I’ve ever encountered.”

When Cartwright came to Kent State, it lagged behind other universities in fundraising, Stafford said. Cartwright started from the ground up by making the Kent State University Foundation an effective fund-raising system.

“There was very little infrastructure when we began,” Cartwright said. “We had to establish a mission and policies before we could start a good fund-raising campaign.”

Under Cartwright’s influence, the foundation set up direct mailing, the phone center, a planned giving program for wills and trusts and a research arm to measure effective fund-raising strategies.

Cartwright established the Founders Scholars Ball to benefit the Founders Scholars awards.

In addition, Cartwright sponsored two Founders Scholarships, at a cost of $70,000.

“She puts her money where her mouth is,” Stafford said.

Cartwright also led Kent State’s first major fund-raising campaign that brought in $120 million, which was $20 million above the Foundation’s goal.

Fundraising has become increasingly important for public universities, Stafford said.

Cartwright has been integral in planning the Foundation’s second fund-raising drive, Stafford said. The drive will be ready for a public launch in 2007 with a goal of raising $200 million.

Stafford, who has worked in fundraising at several universities, said Cartwright stands alone among the university presidents she has worked with.

“She’s the best,” Stafford said. “She gives nonstop. She’ll go anywhere, anytime. She really has been dedicated to stewarding the money that has been raised.”

Contact academic affairs reporter Amanda Garrett at [email protected].