Best Practitioner in Donor Recognition

May 27th, 2009

The Inaugural Award of the “Best Practitioner in Donor Recognition” goes to Rex Whiddon of Columbus State University.

“Rex is the very best steward of donors and their legacies for his institution we have known.” This acclamation about Rex Whiddon, Director of Major Gifts and University Stewardship at Georgia’s Columbus State University, accompanied our inaugural presentation of the Best Practitioner in Donor Recognition on April 15, 2009.

Inaugural “Best Practitioner in Donor Recognition” Award goes to Rex Whiddon April 15, 2009

Dr. Timothy Mescon, President of the University shared, “I’m so very honored to work with a professional as truly gifted as Rex. This is a great acknowledgement of a ‘practitioner’ who is committed to ‘practicing what he preaches’.” Kayron Laska, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at CSU added, “I agree, there’s no one better! His work is truly remarkable!”


In receiving the award, Rex told those attending the brief ceremony in Atlanta, “I was deeply moved and honored to receive this totally unexpected award! Working … to establish the donor recognition program at CSU has been one of the most rewarding experiences my career.”

Columbus State University and the city of Columbus have long been recognized for their successful community fundraising partnership. Local, city-wide fundraisers from multiple disciplines worked collaboratively to raise $100 million in response to “Columbus Challenge” set by the Bradley Turner Foundation.

Then the University in its own, separate campaign exceeded its original campaign goal, raising more than $100 million. Rex’s key role in that success and his on-going commitment to his constituents continue to serve the University exceedingly well.

Rex is a tireless advocate for thanking donors in ways that assure their dedication to the institution and continued involvement over time. He has understood that effective donor recognition includes the story of why the gift was made, thereby building a shared legacy for the donor and the institution.

Robin E. Williams Incorporated is the originator of the award. Our plan is to bestow this honor only when deserved. It will not be awarded on any particular schedule. There are many very effective fundraisers at work today, yet not many really excel in their dedication to donor recognition communications. By continuing to choose the best of the best, I want recipients to know that we consider this to be a very special designation in the stewardship arena.

Written by Robin E. Williams


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