AMHERST, Mass. - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield today announced that University of Massachusetts Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Royster C. Hedgepeth, will join the museum’s staff as the Vice President of Philanthropy. The new position was created in order to secure a minimum of $17 million in contributions to an endowment fund that will be used to support, among other efforts, the continuous upgrading and improvement of new exhibits and the establishment of an ongoing Basketball Hall of Fame Foundation. He will officially join the Hall of Fame staff on April 2, 2001.
Hedgepeth has been Vice Chancellor for University Advancement at the University since August 1995. He designed and implemented the University’s first-ever major campaign, which celebrated its successful conclusion Feb. 11.
UMass Chancellor David K. Scott said: “During his tenure, Royster Hedgepeth charted a new course in philanthropy and volunteerism for the University. He was recruited to lead a campaign to raise $125 million in five years, enhance the image of the institution, and secure advocates. Those goals were met a year ahead of schedule. The level of annual fund-raising has also doubled to $25 million per year. In addition, Royster has positioned the University and laid plans for future campaigns to ensure that the entire Commonwealth understands the importance of the Amherst campus not only to its economy but to the future of its citizenry.”
Scott added: “In any organization it is always exciting to see a major undertaking completed successfully. The advancement staff deserves deep appreciation for what they have accomplished.”
Hedgepeth said: “The Hall of Fame is in the midst of an extraordinary transformation. I am delighted to be part of their team and help position the hall as a destination for generations of basketball fans and as a public voice supporting the values of teamwork and healthy competition.”
He added: “As I look toward the future, I also want to say that it’s been exciting and fulfilling to take part in the successful campaign at UMass. The campaign was truly a team effort that would not have been possible without the hard work and generosity of many faculty, staff, students, alumni, other volunteers, the legislature, donors, and many more. We can take pride in having set a new standard for philanthropy at the University. I will look on with great delight and interest as the University goes forth into an ever brighter future.”
John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame chief operating officer, said: “Having successfully raised the capital necessary for construction of a new building and riverfront development, it is time for us to focus our fund-raising efforts on securing resources for the establishment of an endowment fund. As a nonprofit organization, the Hall of Fame has long dreamed of establishing an endowment fund which would provide the resources necessary to not only secure our position as a premiere, multi-sensory destination, but just as importantly, establish a Foundation which has a local, national, and international presence.”
Doleva continued, “To have someone with the skills and experience that Royster brings is incredibly significant for the Hall of Fame and indicative of our vision of where this Hall of Fame is headed ”
Prior to joining the University, Hedgepeth had major fund-raising experience and success at the universities of Colorado and Illinois, where he was responsible for planning and implementing comprehensive fund-raising programs.
Hedgepeth is also a recognized authority on the development of private foundations to support public universities and other nonprofit organizations. He received his doctorate in educational administration in 1974 from Cornell University, a master’s degree in education in 1968 from the University of Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in religion in 1967 from Wake Forest University. Throughout his career he has published and presented many works on fund-raising and development topics for domestic and international audiences.