November 26, 2012
Paul Quinn College has announced that celebrated fundraising and development professional Halima N. Leak will serve as the inaugural Executive Director for the Center for Fundraising and Philanthropy at Paul Quinn College (the Center), which is scheduled to open in January, 2013. As a result of Leak’s nearly fifteen years of experience as both a fundraising practitioner and an educator, she is uniquely qualified to launch the Center which will house an innovative academic program. The Center will inspire a radical change in the way colleges view their roles in fundraising and producing development professionals. Leak will be formally introduced to the public at Paul Quinn’s Media and Community Appreciation Day on February 25, 2013.
“When we began our national search, Halima’s name immediately grabbed our attention. To land her out of the gate is a true blessing,” said Michael J. Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College. “Her hiring speaks volumes of our capacity to achieve our goal of building one of the pre-eminent fundraising centers in America.”
The Center’s programming will be aimed at encouraging the development of a deeper understanding of fundraising and philanthropy through teaching, training, and research via professional development opportunities and by facilitating the exchange of resources and ideas related to fundraising and philanthropy. It will be the only one of its kind at a historically black college or university and home to one of the few undergraduate fundraising programs available nationally. Students will be prepared for careers related to fundraising and philanthropy including areas such as institutional advancement, faith-based fundraising, grant-making, planned giving, special events, and research. In addition, students will also be actively involved in the newly created collegiate chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which was established in July through a partnership with the AFP Dallas Chapter.
The fundraising and philanthropy undergraduate program was designed by Dr. Marybeth Gasman of the University of Pennsylvania and Nelson Bowman, lll of Prairie View A&M University, decorated authorities in fundraising research and practice and authors of “A Guide to Fundraising at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: An All Campus Approach” and“Engaging Diverse College Alumni: The Essential Guide to Fundraising” (forthcoming 2013).
"I have known Halima for years and I immediately thought of her for this position. She has the perfect combination of fundraising experience, academic background, professional connections, and personality to ensure the center is a success," said Dr. Gasman.
“Conceiving (the Center) was a dream…watching it come into fruition, a dream come true” said Mr. Bowman.
Leak comes to Paul Quinn College from City University of New York, where she served as Director of Alumni Relations and Development for the School of Professional Studies. She has also worked as a fundraising practitioner at New York University, Barnard College of Columbia University, and Communities in Schools of Wake County (North Carolina). She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hampton University and Master of Arts in Educational Sociology from the New York University Steinhardt School of Education where her master thesis was on “Alumni Giving and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Leak is also a Ph.D. candidate at the New York University Steinhardt School of Education. She began her new role at Paul Quinn College on October 1, and also serves as the Director of Development for the college for an interim period.
“The Center for Fundraising and Philanthropy at Paul Quinn is truly a groundbreaking endeavor. Because it is the first such Center at an HBCU, it is uniquely positioned to be a leader in enhancing society’s understanding of charitable giving and issues related to the fundraising profession,” said Leak. “The Center serves a great need in providing a pipeline of diverse talent for organizations and institutions. As a scholar and practitioner, I am delighted to see the Center emerge and I look forward to working with our partners to make a positive impact on the field.”
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