10/29/2004

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Contact: Jennifer Jackson Sanner, Kansas Alumni Association, (785) 864-4760

Kansas Alumni Association names Kevin Corbett new president and CEO

LAWRENCE -- The Kansas Alumni Association has named Kevin Corbett, a University of Kansas alumnus and a respected leader in higher education advancement, its new president and CEO.

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to elect Corbett, acting on the recommendation of a search committee. He will begin his new duties Nov. 15.

" In Kevin Corbett we have a leader of proven management and financial abilities who also has strong existing relationships with people representing all facets of the university," said Robert L. Driscoll, chair of the six-member search committee. "Kevin is well-positioned to make an immediate and invigorating impact on the workings of the association."

Corbett, who is senior vice president for development and secretary for the KU Endowment Association, said: "I appreciate and embrace the opportunity to lead one of the great organizations of its kind nationally. The success of the Kansas Alumni Association is critical to the university and its many constituencies. I look forward to developing new relationships and to providing KU alumni and friends with meaningful ways to become engaged with the university and the alumni association."

Corbett, 38, began his professional career with the KU Endowment Association in 1988 and has worked there continuously since 1997. He has led all fund-raising activities for KU's four campuses while managing a 60-member staff and a budget of more than $6 million. He has overseen annual giving, constituent development, donor relations, corporate and foundation relations, communications, development research and the Chancellors Club.

Corbett succeeds Delbert M. Shankel, who in May became the Alumni Association's interim president and CEO. Shankel, a 45-year KU veteran who twice has led the university as chancellor, expects to assist Corbett through early December. "I am delighted with the board's choice, and I look forward to working with Kevin during the transition to his leadership," Shankel said.

Larry Borden, national chair of the association, said Corbett was the unanimous choice of the search committee, the association's eight-member Executive Committee and the 24-member Board of Directors, which voted Oct. 23 to elect Corbett."We are confident that he will provide strong leadership, and we look forward to working supportively with Kevin for many years," he said.

Chancellor Robert E. Hemenway praised Corbett's hiring. "I look forward to continuing to work with Kevin," Hemenway said. "He has done a superb job at the Endowment Association, and I'm sure he will do an equally fine job for the Alumni Association and our alumni."

Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment Association president, said Corbett's leadership had made a significant impact on the success of the KU First campaign, which is expected to reach its $600 million goal in early 2005. "I could not be more pleased in knowing that Kevin will continue to advance our university in his new role as president of the Alumni Association. Both personally and professionally, I'm thrilled to have this new opportunity to continue working with him."

Frank Becker, KU Endowment Association board chair, called Corbett "a great choice." as Alumni Association president. "The real winner is the University of Kansas."

Lew Perkins, KU athletics director, said: "Kevin is a special person, and we foresee wonderful working relationships among the alumni and endowment associations, KU Athletics and the university in the years ahead."

Corbett, a native of Norman, Okla., earned a bachelor's in psychology in 1988. As a senior, he was president of student membership for the KU Endowment Association. After graduation he worked as an Endowment Association development officer for the schools of architecture, education, journalism and pharmary and for Continuing Education.

In 1989, Corbett moved to the University of Georgia in Athens, where he was development coordinator and assistant director of corporate and foundation giving. From 1991 to 1993, he worked for the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City as associate director of development for the School of Medicine and capital projects.>

In 1993, Corbett became executive director of the Western State College Foundation for Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison. In his four years there, the foundation's assets grew from $1.8 million to $6 million. In 1997, he returned to the KU Endowment Association as director of constituent development. He was vice president for development before his promotion to senior vice president and secretary.

Corbett is married to Jill Bolamperti Corbett, a native of Omaha, Neb., and a 1988 KU graduate in personnel administration. She received a master's in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma. The Corbetts have two young sons.

The Alumni Association, founded in 1883, is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening communication and loyalty among KU graduates, former students, current students, parents and friends of the University. The association has 47,000 members, a 35-member staff and an annual budget of more than $4 million.

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