RICHARDSON, Texas (July 19, 2005) – In a move University of Texas at Dallas President Dr. David Daniel said signaled a “significant ramp-up in UTD’s fundraising efforts,” the university today appointed Marjie Young French, a development professional with more than a decade of major fundraising experience, as vice president of development, effective Aug. 1.
French currently is associate dean and director of development at UTD’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. She was hired by the school last January, primarily to help raise the $100 million in private funds the university has pledged to come up with as part of an economic-development partnership known as “Project Emmitt” and involving Texas Instruments, the State of Texas and the University of Texas System. Under Project Emmitt, announced in 2003, UTD is scheduled to receive a total of as much as $300 million.
With her promotion announced today, French’s responsibilities will expand to include all of the university’s fundraising efforts except research grants, including responsibility for raising the $100 million in matching money for Project Emmitt. French will report directly to Daniel but will work closely with the university’s deans and program directors, as well as with officials at the Jonsson School.
University development currently is part of the Office of Advancement and Government Affairs, headed by UTD Vice President Carlos Peña. Peña will continue as a vice president and member of President Daniel’s Cabinet, but after Aug. 1 he will focus on external relations, including government affairs, as well as marketing and communications.
Daniel said this change is designed not only to strengthen fundraising, but also to allow Peña more time to develop even stronger relationships and programs with UTD’s stakeholders in the community.
French will be UTD’s first vice president of development, a position Daniel said he was creating to “initiate a major push to raise private money in support of the goals and mission” of the university.
"The challenges of external relations, marketing and development are so large at a university of UTD’s size and complexity that they require more than one strong leader to handle them effectively as well as to take maximum advantage of the opportunities those areas present,” Daniel said. “The strategic marketing of the university is critical to the future of the institution. I needed two outstanding people, and I couldn’t imagine two more outstanding people than Marjie Young French and Carlos Peña.”
David called French a “highly experienced fundraiser” and said her appointment as vice president of development was a “reflection of our commitment to raise private money and to create a program for private giving.”
The president added that UTD and other universities increasingly have to “rely on private giving to support their missions.”
French, who was assistant dean for development and outreach at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture prior to joining UTD, said she was “very excited about The University of Texas at Dallas and its philanthropic potential” and that she looked “forward to creating a goal-oriented team that will galvanize the resources of the entire campus community.
“UTD is poised to become a world-class university, and we are all here to help fulfill that destiny,” she said.
Previously, as associate director of development, French managed the highly successful Dallas major gift program for U. T. Austin’s $1.6-billion “We’re Texas” campaign. Additionally, she supervised development programs at the University of Houston Honors College and the University of Houston Gerald Hines College of Architecture during U. H.’s $350-million creative partnership campaign. French’s accomplishments also include coordinating the $7-million gift to name the Gerald Hines College of Architecture at U. H. and supervising the fundraising that led to the creation of The Real Estate Finance Center at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
French received her B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in Houston and is a native Texan.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.