Pickrum Awarded for Her College and University Foundation Leadership
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has announced Vita Pickrum, Ed.D., president of the Delaware State University (DSU) Foundation, and vice president for institutional advancement at DSU, as the recipient of the 2021 Commonfund College and University Foundation Award.
College and University Foundations are nonprofit organizations that cultivate and manage private assets to support the missions of the colleges and universities with which they are affiliated. This prestigious award recognizes professionals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement, quality, and effectiveness of their foundations and the sector.
Pickrum joined DSU in 2008 as a grants manager, and has been integral to the DSU Foundation operations since. She has been in her role as vice president for institutional advancement and president of the DSU Foundation since 2011.
A few of her many accomplishments include increasing private funds raised by 800% since 2008, establishing strategic public and private partnerships that have yielded significant financial support, and developing the first policies and procedures manual for the DSU Foundation all while supervising the advancement services, office of development staff, university events and ceremonies, the university’s endowment investment managers, and the office of alumni relations.
“Dr. Pickrum produces results, which are the bottom line in her field,” says President of Delaware State University Tony Allen, Ph.D., in a letter of support. “Before I arrived at the university, she had already overseen a successful multi-million dollar comprehensive campaign and created multiple ongoing avenues for acquiring new resources.
“Most recently, her work with the COVID Student Emergency Relief Fund, which exceeded its fundraising goal by 60%; her hugely successful stewardship of my presidential transition team; and the work she has already done on Delaware State University’s 130th Anniversary Celebration exemplify her value to our community, her professional field, and to me.”
Allen says he considers one of Pickrum’s signature achievements to be the HBCU Philanthropy Symposium that has pioneered new ground in collaborative HBCU fundraising for more than a decade. Each symposium has highlighted CASE leadership and the benefits of being a member of CASE to the Historical Black College and University community.
In 2020, Pickrum was elected as the Vice-Chair of the newly established CASE Committee on College and University Foundations representing more than 800 community colleges and universities across the country. She is the 2021 Conference Chair of the College and University Foundation Conference on March 30 and 31.
In addition, Pickrum serves on the US/Canada Council representing District II (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands West Virginia, and Canada: Ontario). Previously she served on the CASE Board of Trustees in 2018 after serving simultaneously on the Commission for Philanthropy and the National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations. Another major recognition in the profession, Pickrum was selected by CASE District II as the 2018 Professional of the Year as the top advancement leader in the district.
The Commonfund College and University Foundation Award is underwritten by the Commonfund Institute, the research and education arm of Commonfund, which provides investment management services to nonprofit organizations.
CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, advancement services, communications, fundraising, government relations, marketing, and student recruitment. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.
CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves more than 90,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.