A newsletter for Foundation directors and friends of higher education in Maryland

Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 22nd annual CASE Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations. The conference was excellent, with experts discussing topics ranging from talent management to investment climate, helping all of us consider new paths as we look to serve our universities more effectively. My friends at CASE and the Commonfund also honored me with the CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award. I was profoundly touched by this honor, and so happy that my wife Sue and colleagues Marianne Horrigan and Pam Purcell were able to join me at the presentation.
In other Foundation news, we hosted our first alumni relations council meeting last month. All twelve System institutions were invited to join us and share concerns, needed resources, goals, and objectives for their respective alumni relations program. It was a very productive meeting and we will continue to move forward with quarterly meetings and keep you updated. 
It saddens me to share that one of our loyal members of our Foundation passed away earlier this month. Manny Fthenakis, one of our honorary directors, was a committed member of the USM Foundation, and we will miss his thoughtful presence at future board meetings. 

As always, please contact me at raley@usmd.edu with any questions or comments.




Leonard R. Raley

Investment Performance Through 2/28/14



S&P 500

Composite Benchmark 


Feb. 2014
1.8% 4.6% 2.6% 3.8% 
CYTD 20140.6% 
1.3% 1.2% 

FYTD 2014















In Memoriam: Emanuel (Manny) Fthenakis


We are sad to share news that Emanuel Fthenakis, one of our honorary board directors, passed away earlier this month. Manny, as we knew him, joined the Foundation in 1989 and served on the Audit Committee during his tenure. He became an honorary director in 1998 and was a faithful participant at Foundation board meetings. 


We will miss him very much. 

Update on the Quasi-Endowment Fund


We are pleased to announce that we have received full buy-in on the quasi-endowment plan that we discussed at our February 2014 board meeting. The quasi-endowment fund will provide another source of spendable income for each institution to use for development and fundraising operations, particularly endowment fundraising. We believe that these additional funds will add to our institutions' capacity to fundraise effectively and thoughtfully. We will also be able to introduce innovations in stewardship and fundraising with the additional spendable income to help grow endowment for our campuses.  


Every institution within the USM has subscribed and committed at their cap amount. We will be at the $40 million cap for all institutions, with the USM assigning $10 million to the fund. 

USM Receives Grant to Expand Role of Academic Transformation Initiatives


The University System of Maryland Foundation received a $200,000 State Systems Transformation Co-creation grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on behalf of the USM to help transform the higher education academic model. The USM is one of several higher education state systems selected to build on existing practices to substantially improve student access and success and effect change in higher education. The grant will help the USM enhance the efforts of individual USM campuses to make college completion more attainable and affordable.

A New Open-Source Textbooks Pilot Program to Bring Textbook Costs to $0


The University System of Maryland is exploring ways to bring textbook costs to zero with "open-source" electronic textbooks. Unlike electronic versions of textbooks sold by publishers, open-source textbooks are made up of materials gathered from various sources and are not protected by copyright. They are designed to be interactive, with links to source material and multimedia elements, and anyone with an Internet connection can access them. Spearheaded by the Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching, the pilot program is estimated to save 1,100 students a combined total of $130,000.

April 2014
Vol. 8, Iss. 4
In This Issue
Investment Performance
In Memoriam: Manny Fthenakis
Update on the Quasi-Endowment Fund
USM Receives Grant
New Open-Source Textbooks Pilot Program to Bring Textbook Costs to $0
USM News Briefs
Trends in Philanthropy
Board Member News
Staff News
USM News Briefs   

USM Announces 2014 Board of Regents Faculty Award Winners


The USM Board of Regents announced the 16 recipients of the 2014 USM Regents' Faculty Awards. The awards are the highest honor presented by the board to exemplary faculty members, and honor excellence in teaching; research; public service; mentoring; and innovative excellence. Each award carries a $1,000 prize, provided by the institutions and the USM Foundation.  

Trends in Philanthropy 

Charities Predict Increases in Giving After Strong 2013

62% of charities said they raised more money last year than in 2012, the largest share since 2007, when 65% increased donations. Additionally, 75% of charities did better last year in part because they had strong systems in place to woo donors and keep them informed about how their money was being used.

Board Member News   
Two of our long-standing board directors have been inducted into the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber's 2014 Hall of Fame. Timothy Adams was recognized for his work with SA-Tech and Larry Letow was recognized for his work with Convergence Technology Consulting. Congratulations, Tim and Larry on this wonderful honor!  
Staff News 
President and CEO Leonard Raley received the 2014 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award. This award recognizes professionals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement, quality and effectiveness of their foundations and the sector. We certainly agree with CASE's decision and are thrilled to have such an extraordinary leader at our helm. Congratulations, Leonard!   

Jess Gill

Editor, LeaderNotes