Thursday, May 26, 2016

Witzleben/Associates is on the move like the Bull City of Durham, NC! We recently moved from our Leggett & Myers tobacco warehouse to Church+Main, the first new building constructed in the historic circle of downtown Durham in the last 26 years! We are proud to attach our star to Durham's, one of the top entrepreneurial renaissance cities in the USA today!

103 years ago, the sign Durham Renowned the World Around was erected on the corner of Church+Main (our new location) on a moonlight night. In addition to the slogan, it read, “Health, Wealth, Progress, Success around the circumference. Sadly the sign was destroyed during a storm. Now in the second golden age of Durham, the city deserves its name in lights once more! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
John Stephenson, Associate of Witzleben/Associates, was awarded the Emory Medal at a dinner ceremony on October 7. The Emory Medal is the highest university honor bestowed on alumni and was presented by Emory President Jim Wagner. John is the executive director of the J. Bulow Campbell Foundation, a private charitable foundation established in 1940 through the estate of Atlanta businessman J. Bulow Campbell. The Atlanta philanthropy awards grants in education, human services, youth development, arts and cultural institutions, and to Christian-based charities. Prior to joining the Foundation in 1985, John served Emory Presidents Sandy Atwood and Jim Laney for 12 years as assistant to the president, secretary of the university and vice president for development. John Stephenson and Charlie Witzleben were the top senior development officers of Emory University between 1976 and 1985, serving respectively as Emory's Vice President for Development and Associate Vice President for Development for The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Former colleagues reunited in celebrating John's well-deserved honor after a 26-year lapse in working together. Pictured in photos are John Stephenson, Jim Wagner, Charlie Witzleben, Mary Pat Crouch, Kathryn H. Graves, Joan Gershon and Billy Howard. What a WOW evening! 

Emory Group photo

Friday, September 26, 2014

After opening the 2014-2015 academic year with the second largest enrollment in its history, and a newly-renovated $6 million residence hall, Hanover College revealed the results of its successful capital campaign that generated more than $54 million in new philanthropic assets. Hanover President Sue DeWine made the announcement Saturday, Sept. 20, during the College’s Homecoming celebration.

Since its inception in July 2010, the Live Our Loyalty campaign has generated $54,900,304 in gift assets from nearly 5,000 donors, more than 3,000 of whom are alumni. The total amount is 38 percent greater than the original goal of $34.35 million. The College received $28.1 million in current commitments and $26.8 million in future estate gifts.

The results of the four-year campaign will strengthen Hanover’s liberal arts education through innovative curriculum programs, expanding student social activities, improving experiences for student-athletes, supporting talented students with scholarships and increasing the number of students studying abroad. Capital improvements made up a significant portion of campaign dollars. The most notable is the $7 million outdoor athletic complex that boasts a new stadium, press box, offices for the coaching staff and training room for treating athletes.

President Sue DeWine said, “The results of this campaign are nothing less than remarkable and will go a long way toward strengthening the College for the future and improving our students’ experiences.

Mark ’71 and Marabeth Ice Levett ’71 served as the campaign chairs. “The campaign was designed to enrich the lives of students at Hanover, and it really has touched their lives in so many ways,” said Marabeth Levett. “By that standard alone you could say the campaign was a success, no matter how much money was raised." 

Witzleben/Associates served as campaign counsel and has been extremely honored to partner with President Sue DeWine, Vice President for College Advancement Dennis Hunt, Co-Chairs Mark and Marabeth Levett, campaign steering committee, Board of Trustees and Advancement staff who were all integral in executing a highly successful campaign. HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS HANOVER!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Richard Trollinger, Vice President for College Relations at Centre, celebrated his 20th anniversary at a Monday evening dinner in Danville, KY with Patsi Trollinger and Charlie Witzleben. Witzleben helped broker the hiring of Trollinger 20 years ago while serving as consultant to the college's Front & Centre Campaign! Trollinger and Witzleben were at it again on Monday and Tuesday with the entire Development and Alumni Relations Staff in a planning retreat for The Third Century Campaign, which commences in January 2015 leading to Centre's 200th Anniversary in January 2019. The retreat was held at historic Shaker Village.

Richard Trollinger and John R. Thelin recently co-authored a book entitled, Philanthropy and American Higher Education, which was released on August 20, 2014 by publisher Palgrave MacMillan. Professor Thelin is a social historian at the University of Kentucky whose area of expertise is American higher education. He chaired Trollinger's PhD dissertation committee. The book is also available on Amazon.  

Congratulations Author and Advancement Professional Extraordinaire Trollinger!

Friday, September 27, 2013
As a prelude to their upcoming 50th Anniversary in 2015, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg has been showing off their striking renovated galleries this week to rave reviews. CONGRATULATIONS MFA!
See feature news story:

Sunday, September 22, 2013
Believe you can and you’re halfway there! Marabeth and Mark Levett’s extraordinary leadership as Chairs of the Hanover Campaign epitomizes the optimistic maxim expressed by Teddy Roosevelt.

Now in the homestretch year, Live Our Loyalty: The Campaign for Hanover College has achieved $24.6 million of its 3-year overall campaign goal of $34.35 million. Tangible evidence of the campaign’s impact permeates the beautiful 600 acre campus high above the Ohio River – new outdoor athletic facilities, student center renovations and improvements, endowment funds for academic programs, scholarships, international study and Business Scholars Program

Leadership is in the Levetts’ DNA! Mark, a long-time senior executive with Cummins was recently named Vice President Corporate Responsibility, CEO Cummins Foundation. Cummins has been leading the way as a world leader in corporate citizenship and philanthropy since 1954 when the Cummins Foundation was created, 35 years after Cummins was founded. It was one of the early corporate foundations and is the global giving arm of Cummins Inc. It makes grants primarily in Cummins’ communities around the world and for projects that engage Cummins employees. Marabeth is a visible and effective community volunteer leader and activist in Columbus and Culver, Indiana.

Qualities of leadership are a frequently addressed topic for any enterprise. When asked to characterize the differentials in Levetts’ leadership that has played a pivotal role in Hanover’s success, Vice President for College Advancement Dennis Hunt offered the following:

The Levetts are always willing and eager to ‘analyze’ and ‘strategize.’ They are extremely thoughtful and rarely take data and information about the campaign at face value. They discuss issues between themselves and when meeting with staff, are prepared with pertinent and probing questions about policies, tactics, solicitations and printed materials. They are smart and perceptive tire-kickers! Marabeth was particularly engaged in the drafting of the case statement and extremely adept at “reading into” the real meaning of the message, intent on making it true to Hanover’s mission and values. Marabeth actually came up with the best name for the campaign with a phase from the College alma mater.

They are easily recognized and highly respected by trustees and countless alumni as authentic good people, especially important qualities for a campaign primarily directed at elevating alumni ownership and investment in Hanover’s future. Mark, although only 64, is the longest serving current member on the Board of Trustees.

When it came time to selecting Steering Committee members, Mark and Marabeth were very deliberate in creating constituency breadth and depth and selecting influencers who led by example by making Hanover their number one philanthropic priority for the campaign’s duration. The Levetts’ leadership gift set a high threshold for their colleagues, and they executed every solicitation assignment with enthusiasm, optimism and corresponding success.

Mark and Marabeth are valued colleagues, advisors and calling partners with President Sue DeWine. They make a formidable team and put new levels of fun and sophistication in the College’s engagement and fundraising programs.

They generously shared leadership with the sub-committee chairs, regularly engaging them in important discussions, strategies and actions all geared to achieving optimal success for each component and phase of the campaign.

The Levetts truly invested themselves personally in the campaign. Their example reinforces the importance of leadership as the key differential in a highly successful campaign.

Levetts at Kickoff
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
After a phenomenal week at the Telluride Film Festival where I enjoyed a family house party and took in the premieres of 15 movies, my daughter Hilary and I headed to Arizona and Utah for hiking and exploring in Arizona and Utah's Monument Valley, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. The scenery was otherworldly.

Monument Valley Tribal Park in Navajo Nation is the scene of countless movies including the memorable Forrest Gump line, "Think I'll go home now!" Yep, that's moi on that famous stretch of Forrest's cross-country run!

Canyonlands National Park is 527 square miles and divided in 3 sections. Hilary and I explored two of them - Island in the Sky, which reminded us of the Grand Canyon, and Needles, which had similarities to Bryce Canyon. To our great surprise and delight, we ran into one other couple on our hike through Needles, who just happened to be our former Georgia Congressman and US Senator Wyche Fowler and his wife Becky. We enjoyed a wonderful visit over a picnic lunch!

Arches National Park at sunset felt as we had landed on another planet! The brilliance of the colors in these photos has not been enhanced - exactly the way it looked!

Before heading home last Monday, we celebrated Hilary and Carson's first wedding anniversary on Telluride’s San Sophia Overlook where they were married a year ago surrounded by the spectacular San Juan Mountains.

With batteries recharged, I am headed to Hanover and Eckerd Colleges this week!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Here's this year's exciting film line up for the 40th Anniversary Film Festival which kicks off tonight with a Punch Brothers concert in the Park followed by showing of THE BIG LEBOWSKI. Robert Redford's Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid showed last night as a warm up for Mr. Redford's appearance and premiere of ALL IS LOST! Great fun soaking all this in!

Telluride Film Festival Unveils 2013 Lineup

The 40th annual Telluride Film Festival‘s lineup includes North American premieres for the Coen Brothers’Inside Llewyn Davis, Robert Redford‘s tour-de-force work in J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, and Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska. The Coens and Redford will be honored with Silver Medallions along with Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof. As per usual, more sneak previews are expected outside the main program and will be announced soon (last year’s surprise additions included Ben Affleck’s Argo, which went on to win the Best Picture Oscar). The anniversary edition features an extra day of programming, a new venue in the Werner Herzog Theatre, and six guest directors instead of the usual one (Don Delillo, Buck Henry, Phillip Lopate, Michael Ondaatje, film scholar B. Ruby Rich and Salman Rushdie). Festivities kick off tonight with a concert honoringInside Llewyn Davis featuring Punch Brothers. Here’s the main lineup followed by the full release:

ALL IS LOST (d. J.C. Chandor, U.S., 2013)

BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL (d. Philippe Claudel, France, 2013)

BETHLEHEM (d. Yuval Adler, Israel, 2013)

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (d. Abdellatif Kechiche, France, 2013)

BURNING BUSH (d. Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic, 2013)

DEATH ROW: BLAINE MILAM + ROBERT FRATTA (d. Werner Herzog, U.S., 2013)

FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS (d. Mitra Farahani, U.S., 2013)

THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR: SATAN CAME TO EDEN (d. Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine, U.S., 2013)

GLORIA (d. Sebastián Lelio, Chile, 2013)

GRAVITY (d. Alfonso Cuarón, U.S./U.K., 2013)

IDA (d. Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland, 2013)

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (d. Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S., 2013)

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (d. Ralph Fiennes, U.K., 2013)

LABOR DAY (d. Jason Reitman, U.S., 2013)

THE LUNCHBOX (d. Ritesh Batra, India, 2013)

LA MAISON DE LA RADIO (d. Nicolas Philibert, France, 2013)

MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN (d. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran, 2013)

THE MISSING PICTURE (d. Rithy Panh, Cambodia/France, 2013)

NEBRASKA (d. Alexander Payne, U.S., 2013)

PALO ALTO (d. Gia Coppola, U.S., 2013)

THE PAST (d. Asghar Farhadi, France/Italy, 2013)

SLOW FOOD STORY (d. Stefano Sardo, Italy, 2013)

STARRED UP (d. David Mackenzie, U.K., 2013)

TIM’S VERMEER (d. Teller, U.S., 2013)

TRACKS (d. John Curran, Australia, 2013)

UNDER THE SKIN (d. Jonathan Glazer, U.K., 2013)

THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (d. Errol Morris, U.S., 2013)

Monday, August 26, 2013
Enjoying my first day of vacation in stunning Telluride. The 40th anniversary Film Festival starts on Thursday where Robert Redford is rumored to be among
the stars heading this year's lineup! Highlight of the day was my daughter, Hilary's, radio call-in discussing a community survey she recently completed for the Telluide Library!
Telluride Film

Monday, August 5, 2013
Witzleben/Associates is proud to have been selected by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State to assist in the development of a robust philanthropic agenda that builds on an extraordinary track record and compelling vision for the future

Globally, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that the world’s population will rise from 7 to 9 billion people by 2050, and that food production must increase 70% to feed the world of 2050.

Agriculture sciences will play a major role in developing the technology and agriculture practices needed to feed the world of 2050. At the local level, North Carolina agriculture continues to be among the state’s major economic engines. Food, fiber and forestry industries account for more than 17 percent of North Carolina’s gross state product, close to 80 billion annually. These industries account for close to 4 million North Carolina jobs.

The College’s strategic plan, Our Envisioned Future, provides a compelling roadmap for the journey.

Stay tuned and check out the College’s website:
Monday, July 1, 2013



As of July 1, the university’s research, education and outreach efforts in the physical, chemical, mathematical, statistical, biological and earth system sciences are united in the College of Sciences, a collection of six departments, 4,000 students and 575 faculty, staff and postdoctoral researchers. The new college, which combines the programs of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences with several of the biological sciences programs from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will be NC State’s third-largest college.

Witzleben/Associates is proud to have conducted the Internal Readiness Assessment for the new College of Sciences Advancement Office. We wish our colleagues at NC State abundant good fortune!

For more complete information, please visit:

Thursday, June 13, 2013
As the June 30 fiscal year nears, Eckerd College is going viral to reach its goals. The Johnson 36-Hour Challenge is a grassroots online challenge to inspire more gifts and increased engagement. Eckerd Trustee Ian Johnson ’89 and his wife, Maureen, have agreed to match gifts if the College receives 360 gifts and reaches 3,600 likes on the Eckerd College Alumni Association Facebook page by 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 14. For each gift made, the Johnsons will give an equal amount to student scholarships, with a total match up to $20,000.

The College’s Advancement team launched a Facebook event this morning at 8:00 a.m. and took to Twitter and LinkedIn to get start spreading the word. Already their number of Facebook likes has increased by 23% and more than 80 donors have supported the initiative thus far. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Test For Campaign Preparedness

If your organization is preparing for a campaign in the foreseeable future, it’s important to take stock of internal and external readiness.Witzleben/Associates has created A Test For Campaign Preparedness – a checklist of two-dozen vital steps and ingredients preparatory to moving forward with a successful campaign. 

Is there agreement on campaign objectives and needs among board, administration, donors and constituents? Has an outside evaluation been conducted?

Are constituents and the giving community well acquainted with your mission, needs and plans? Have they participated in forming your plans?

Are your top 50 to 100 donors identified, cultivated, ready to give?

Can your board(s) give10% to 30% or more of your campaign goal?

Can you identify a lead gift equal to 10% or more of your campaign goal?

Is your annual giving fully developed? Recognition Clubs? How many $1,000 or more donors? Percentages of giving?

Are you raising funds from corporations, foundations, public agencies and individuals for specific projects and proposals?

Do you have a planned gifts program?

Have you developed a persuasive campaign description or case statement?

Do you have realistic project and program budgets, architectural plans or endowment requirements? Is the proposed campaign timetable realistic?

Have you budgeted your campaign costs? Do you know staffing requirements for your campaign?

Is leadership available, ready to lead, give time, give money, and most important, give priority to your campaign? Are they experienced in fund raising?

What are the ranges of gifts at the different levels required to meet your campaign goal? Do these fit your patterns of current support?

Can your staff support the added burden of campaign accounting, research, acknowledgments, materials production, scheduling, special events and public relations?

What is the status of your computer systems and software programs?

Does your staff have campaign experience? Have any run successful campaigns from start to finish? Are more staff required for a campaign?

Do you have a sufficient number of volunteers and a tradition of volunteerism to adequately cover your prospects?

How do your volunteers feel about making personal calls on peers?

Was your last campaign a success? Are its records intact and available for review?

What endorsements might be received from prominent citizens and volunteer leadership? Can you organize a major public relations campaign in concert with the fund raising campaign?

Are your internal and external politics stable? Are any present or former crisis evident, forming, or potential- ly damaging?

How committed is the CEO to being an essential “calling partner” on major gifts solicitation teams? Will the CEO and chief development officer stay for the duration of the campaign?

Is your budget in balance? Are your management and administration viewed as sound?

Who are your competitors? How are you doing by comparison? Are any competitors planning campaigns?

Do you have an easily comprehensible, major, overarching campaign theme?

Sunday, April 7, 2013
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize Winner and Visionary Founding Chair of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, dedicated 20 years ago this month, was featured today on Charles Osgood's CBS Sunday Morning. In concluding the interview he said, "The Holocaust Museum is a gift from the dead to the living. We gave you our story. It's up to you to do something with it to save mankind." 

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames, which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments, which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."      

                                            Elie Wiesel 


Elie Wiesel is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Eckerd College, where in 2006 I was humbled and honored to attend a luncheon with Elie and his wife, Marion as they discussed their translation of Night,  which the New York Times described as "a slim volume of terrfying power."

Friday, April 5, 2013
My week was capped by a delightful visit with Mercer President Bill Underwood and Director of Development Todd Smith who dazzled me with all the exciting developments taking place at my alma mater! Mercer Bears football returns after 70+ years of hibernation with opening game on August 31 in the stunning new stadium and fieldhouse.

James Patterson, prolific, award-winning author of 97 novels with a goal of producing 9 new books a year, brought his passion for reading to Pinehurst last night to help unveil the capital campaign for the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives. What a marvelous evening as humorous Patterson extolled his passion to get kids reading stating, "It is not an overstatement to say everything in life starts with reading."  Audrey Moriarty, executive director of the library and archives, proudly boasts having all of Patterson's distinct titles as the most popular checked out items stating, "If you can't find something to read by James Patterson, you are not looking hard enough." Guests were treated to a signed copy of Patterson's latest novel, Merry Christmas Alex Cross.

Mercer President Underwood and Charlie Witzleben '70

James Patterson(middle) with Campaign Co-Chairs Joyce Franke and John May

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

North Carolina State University officially dedicated the James B. Hunt Jr. Library today.  Setting a new benchmark for architecturally inspiring and technologically sophisticated learning and collaborative spaces, the Hunt Library (ranked in top 25 libraries in nation) is designed to be a decisive competitive edge for the university, an institution that has forged its reputation by teaching students to live on the fore of change and enabling its researchers to do transformative work.

The Hunt Library serves both as NC State’s second main library and as the intellectual and social heart of the university’s Centennial Campus. Named the nation’s top research park in 2007, Centennial Campus is a nexus of collaboration where students and faculty work with more than sixty corporate and governmental partners to craft the innovations that will shape tomorrow.

A central tenet of the Hunt Library is to democratize access to the technologies that are driving our economy and culture. Susan K. Nutter, vice provost and director of the NCSU Libraries observes, “You cannot be in this building without realizing that something very important is happening at this university.”


Witzleben/Associates is proud to serve as counsel for two colleges at NC State - NC State College of Engineering, the flagship college of engineering in the state of North Carolina, the largest college in the University in terms of enrollment and 4th largest engineering college in the nation; and the new NC State College of Sciences, a strategic realignment of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and five biological sciences departments from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The new College of Sciences, opening on July 1, 2013, will capitalize on NC State’s growing expertise and reputation in quantitative biological sciences and the national trend in convergence sciences. The academic structure will position NC State to work on the most pressing issues of the coming decades – many of which are at the intersection of the mathematical, computational, physical and biological sciences.

James B. Hunt, Jr. Library

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
We are thrilled to announce The Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives in Pinehurst as our newest philanthropic partner. We will soon begin conducting a feasibility study and readiness assessment for their Great Expectations Campaign for the Library's evolution to The Given Center, an ambitious project that will create a real renaissance for the Vilage of Pinehurst. The Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives are tightly interwoven with the story of Pinehurst, famous in the golf world since the early 1900s. It has hosted a Ryder Cup, a PGA Championship, a US Amateur, and recurring US Open Golf Championships. Whenever there is an open in Pinehurst, the Library/Archives is inundated with inquires, and journalists come to study the priceless collection of Donald Ross golf course drawings in the Tufts Archives. Golf course architects have been using these resources for years in their own work and restorations.

This is an exciting time in the Village. Pinehurst is the site of the 2014 US Men's and Ladies' Golf Opens, and Given Memorial Library will be celebrating its Golden Anniversary. With the eyes of the golf world upon Pinehurst, The Given Center will be tripled in size, housing the Given Memorial Library, Tufts Museum, Donald Ross Archives, and a reception and lecture hall. The Given Center will evolve as the new cultural heart  on the Village Green for learning, culture and heritage, expressing a vigorous engagement with the public realm.     

An evening with acclaimed author James Patterson, hailed as "transforming book publishing" and whose books have sold an estimated 275 million copies worldwide, will provide an auspicious community unveiling of the project this Friday night. 

The Given Memorial Library and Tufts ArchivesPinehurst HotelDonald Ross golf clubs
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Yesterday,  I was at Feeding The Valley Food Bank in Columbus, Georgia and got to see their sparkling new refrigerated truck gifted by Kraft Foods, as one of 10 food banks awarded a truck through national grant competition. You might say, they're on a they also received a second truck through the Walmart Foundation. Feeding The Valley's Board of Directors voted to approve a campaign to implement a new Regional Food Distribution Plan that will include three locations serving 13 counties in Southwest Georgia. Congratulations Babbs and David!

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Leadership is THE DIFFERENTIAL in Colleges (all organizations) That Change Lives. The following excerpted remarks delivered by Board Chair Miles Collier at the February Eckerd College Board retreat bespeak forceful creative thinking of vigilant leadership:

The nature of disruptive change is that those who it affects never see it coming. They are far too occupied with their historic successes. I have recently been exploring the concept of "precisely wrong versus approximately right". "Precisely wrong" is where long dominate institutions arrive just before they get blind-sided by the disruptive, "approximately right" new paradigm. The reasons companies and institutions, and even civilizations ultimately decline, is that they lose their strategic agility. I believe we find ourselves in a time that will require not only strategic agility, but technological and pedagogical agility as well. We will need to be "approximately right" if we are to prosper.

If transformative change is to come from within the academy, it won't come from a great dinosaur of a university. The age of mammals originated with an agile shrew-like creature and occurred only after ecological disruption by a massive comet. I would say that if a new age comes to the academy, it too would come after disruption and originate with a Triton-like one. [The triton shell is Eckerd College's mascot.]

Witzleben/Associates is proud to have served as counsel to 9 of 40 colleges included in Loren Pope's 2013-14 edition of Colleges That Change Lives: Birmingham-Southern, Centre, Eckerd, Emory & Henry, Hendrix, Lynchburg, Ohio Wesleyan, Rhodes and Wabash.