By Jim Powell and Laura Morris
Our time working with some of UT’s most active volunteers on the Development Council and the Alliance of Women Philanthropists has been enriched immeasurably by the staff member who made it her business—day in and day out—to ensure that we members of the council and alliance board had what we needed to fund-raise and friend-raise on behalf of this great university.
With mixed feelings of happiness for her opportunities and sadness that she will no longer be working directly with the council and the alliance, we mark the semi–retirement (we hope she will never completely retire!) of Martha Masengill—truly a UT legend.
When Martha graduated from UT in 1963, she earned the Torchbearer award, the university’s highest student honor. She worked for 15 years in UT alumni affairs, then moved to the university’s development office in 1993 during preparations for UT’s highly successful 21st Century Campaign. After 31 years serving the university and its alumni and friends, Martha retired in June 2009 from her position as assistant vice-president for development.
It is not surprising that Henry Nemcik, UT’s vice-president for development and alumni affairs, has asked Martha to return for extra innings to facilitate oversight of the UT Alumni Association’s current strategic initiative. This effort marks the university’s first floor-to-ceiling review of its programs to ensure they meet the needs of UT alumni in the 21st century. We can think of no one more qualified for this task than our own Martha Masengill.
Not only has Martha been an invaluable asset to our alumni and development programs, she has been a personal contributor to the university as well, giving generously through the years to support UT Knoxville scholarships, Delta Delta Delta, the Torchbearer Endowment, the Senior Gift Challenge, the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the Frank H. McClung Museum, and many other worthy programs across the UT system.
On behalf of the UT Development Council and the UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists, we thank Martha for the joy she has brought to our lives and the difference she has made to countless members of the UT family. We wish her great happiness as she moves to the next chapter of the Martha adventure!
Jim Powell is chair of the UT Development Council; Laura Morris is past chair of the executive board of the Alliance of Women Philanthropists.