Following on the heels of Emporia State’s presidential search, the ESU Foundation, which exists primarily to raise funds for the institution, is looking for a new president.
Tim Clothier, 1978 alum, continues to serve as interim president since he took over last May when Judith Heasley stepped down. Clothier said he is interested in filling the position permanently.
“We have been trying to touch a lot of folks in the Emporia community,” Clothier said. “I may have moved away (from Emporia) 35 years ago, but it’s just like yesterday. I still see friends from when I went to school here. That’s the beauty of it.”
Clothier said he wants to focus on opportunities to expose the university and create a greater presence in the local community for ESU.
Jennifer Cheray, search committee member, Associated Student Government vice president and senior marketing major said that without the funding the foundation provides, ESU would be unable to recruit students with scholarships and the university would be unable to continue renovations on campus.
The foundation president works with the Board of Trustees and alumni on fundraising efforts in addition to organizing campaigns so that ESU can grow as a university, Cheray said.
In the four years that she served as Foundation president from 2007 until 2011, Heasley said the foundation raised approximately $26.5 million from its donors.
“People are investments in the future,” Heasley said. “By investing in the future, we are investing in students.”
But Heasley said the role of foundation president also comes with hardships. The most difficult time for Heasley came in 2008 and early 2009 when the economy plummeted.
“(We had to) make sure that everyone kept a job and scholarships were given so that we allocated money over to university to award scholarships,” Heasley said.
So far, the search process has involved collecting and reviewing applications for possible candidates, Cheray said. Students can express concerns to her or other committee members so they will be able to look for desirable qualities in an applicant.
“A lot of students don’t know what the foundation is on campus until after graduation when they are asked to give back to their school,” Cheray said. “We need someone who is willing to familiarize themselves with students, who is personable, who can make that relationship happen before graduation.”
In honor of ESU’s 150th birthday in 2013, the foundation is currently focused on putting together a comprehensive campaign to raise money, Clothier said.