Tennessee Tech welcomes two new faces to University Advancement

The two newest members of University Advancement at Tennessee Technological University bring with them a combined total of 25 years of experience in fundraising and institutional development. Both have made their mark with organizations throughout Middle Tennessee and bring with them a wide range of experience and a history of successes.

Earlier this month, Dennis Story began his tenure as associate executive director of University Advancement, taking the position vacated by Tom Hamilton. Later this month, Elaine Kelsey will begin as director of Major Giving Programs, taking the position left open by Rick Stegall.

Dennis Story

Story will manage the university's fundraising programs and oversee alumni affairs activities. He left his post as director of Institutional Advancement at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn., to join the Tennessee Tech staff.

A 1968 graduate of animal science and ROTC at Tennessee Tech, Story spent 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving in the medical department until he retired in 1989 and headed to Martin Methodist College. Among his many accomplishments in the service, Story was an associate professor in aeromedical aviation and member of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory Board of Review.

At Martin Methodist, Story's fundraising efforts helped to eliminate the college's $1.1 million debt in just three years. In his seven years there, he raised the endowment fund from $1.9 million to over $5.6 million. He has also directed Martin Methodist's capital campaign, much like Tennessee Tech's current Share the Vision Capital Campaign, successfully generating $8.2 million toward the $10 million goal in just three years. His efforts at the college have also resulted in significant increases in the annual fund, alumni giving and permanently endowed scholarships.

Story also holds a master's degree in hospital administration from Baylor University and spent three years studying personnel management in the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

In addition to numerous professional organizations, Story is past president of the Rotary Club in Pulaski, as well as a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. A lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, he was a board member of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church.

"My personal leadership philosophy is this," says Story, "Service is a privilege - serve with love and enthusiasm. My continuing goal is to do it in a way better than anyone ever imagined or dreamed."

Elaine Kelsey

Kelsey will manage the major gifts program and will be responsible for identifying major donor prospects. She leaves her post as director of University Relations at Middle Tennessee State University to join Tennessee Tech.

Since joining MTSU in 1992, Kelsey oversaw the student phonathon, direct mail campaigns, estate planning seminars and various other activities. During her tenure, annual giving by alumni went from eight percent to 10.8 percent in 1996, unrestricted donations raised through the student phonathon increased by 10 percent, and major gifts increased by eight percent.

As the former Financial and Membership Development officer for the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, Kelsey increased membership by five percent and trained board members in fundraising. As director of Development for WDCN public television, Kelsey raised the funds that covered 42 percent of the station's budget, increasing the amount raised from $1.8 million to $3.3 million in her six years there.

Kelsey established the Public Information and Development program for WKYU-FM radio at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, publishing a monthly program guide, training volunteers, soliciting corporate support and coordinating special events. When she joined the station, it was still under construction; it has since become an established resource in the 16-county region it serves.

Kelsey holds a bachelor's degree in home economics and broadcasting from the University of Dayton in Ohio and a master's degree in communications and agriculture from the University of Tennessee.

"As a fundraising director," says Kelsey, " I realize that one person alone cannot be successful in every task. . . . I feel that it is very important to recognize the role others play in the total development process and to give credit to the constituency that makes the formula a success."

In addition to their experience and expertise, both of these new staff members come to Tennessee Tech with "a high level of energy and a very strong interest in working at Tennessee Tech," says Tom Hamilton, former associate executive director of University Advancement.

University Advancement oversees development and fundraising, alumni affairs, public affairs, photo services and printing services for the university. The 5-year Sharing the Vision capital campaign initiated by University Advancement is expected to exceed its goal of $20 million when it concludes this summer.