Donald Fry, MBA
Senior Vice President

Donald has an outstanding record of leading and managing teams to achieve excellence. His ability to build consensus and develop collaborative partnerships is an asset to nonprofits. Prior to his last position as Vice President, Institute Advancement for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Don led development for Colorado State University as Vice President for University Development and Advancement.

He served 16 years at Purdue University in numerous roles including Director of Advancement for the University’s College of Engineering. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Management from the University of Maryland and Master of Science in Business Administration from Boston University.

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Will You Be There When John Shamberg Calls?

A big part of fundraising is showing up and being available. I learned this lesson on a very memorable New Year’s Eve, a very long time ago.

As an eager young fundraiser working for Washburn University, I didn’t know that it was unusual still to be at work in the evening of December 31st. But, there I was.

Earlier that year, a graduate of Washburn University School of Law told me he was going to give a gift of land to his synagogue, a private K-12 school and Washburn. John Shamberg, who has since passed away, made millions of dollars for institutions all over the world, and he wanted to give a significant gift to organizations he valued. His 40 acres of land on the outskirts of Kansas City were valued at $450,000, and his intention was to give $150,000 each to three organizations.

He’d left the task to the last day of the year, but now he was ready to make it happen.

He called the synagogue. No answer.

He called the K-12 school. No answer.

Then, he called Washburn and got me.

“Bob,” he said, “you just won the jackpot!”

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