Blackburn Freeth '02
Recommitted to leveraging — and building — its alumni
School Dean Dipak C. Jain has recommitted Kellogg to building
its alumni network and increasing the relationship between
Kellogg and its graduates. To help meet that objective, the
Kellogg Office of Development created a new position —
director of planned and major gifts. Stephanie Blackburn
Freeth ’02 joined the Kellogg team in that
role last summer. Kellogg World discussed her new
role in a recent interview.
your responsibilities in the Kellogg Office of Development.
As director of planned and major gifts, I connect with alumni
and match the school’s needs with alumni support. I
travel with Dean Jain, orchestrating individual meetings,
small group lunches, and other special events. This really
is an exciting time for external relations at Kellogg, given
Dean Jain’s renewed emphasis on engaging alumni all
over the world.
did you decide to pursue a career in fund raising for Kellogg
following your graduation from the school last June?
I grew up in a family of educators, so I have always valued
education as fundamentally important to success. I am thankful
for the liberal arts perspective that I gained as an English
major at Princeton, and am extremely grateful to Kellogg for
providing me with a solid understanding of management and
business principles. In deciding to pursue a career as a fund-raiser
for Kellogg as my first job after business school, I knew
I would be able to give back immediately to an institution
that has given me such a firm foundation.
should alumni and friends of Kellogg give back to the school?
While tuition covers a percentage of Kellogg’s operating
needs, there is still a large part of the budget that depends
upon alumni support. Kellogg has had a great impact on the
lives of so many alumni through the years, and we hope that
these alumni will consider supporting Kellogg when they decide
which nonprofits to support with their charitable giving.
are Kellogg’s current fund-raising priorities?
Contributions to the Annual Fund are always welcome at any
amount. We also seek substantial funding for student scholarships,
faculty chairs, research support and facilities improvement.
A key activity from now until the end of the fiscal year (Aug.
31) is support of Campaign Northwestern, the university’s
major fund-raising initiative. While this campaign has reached
its $1.4 billion goal ahead of schedule, there is a push to
reach $1.5 billion by the end of the fiscal year. Kellogg’s
alumni and friends can be a part of that tremendous accomplishment.
some of the ways people can make gifts to Kellogg.
Gifts to the Annual Fund, for example, are intended for immediate
use. These contributions are often made in the form of cash,
checks, credit card payments or appreciated securities. Those
interested in supporting the longer-term needs of the school
can do so in the form of bequests and other planned giving
vehicles such as charitable gifts annuities, remainder trusts,
insurance and pooled income funds. These plans provide a return
to donors and their families for a specific duration of time,
with either the principal or interest given to Kellogg.
If you are interested
in making a major gift to the Kellogg School, please contact
Stephanie Freeth via
email or at 847-491-3348.