Senior Director of Development Receives the Beth K. Fields Award

Picture of Sharron Townsend Receiving the Beth K. Fields Award

     Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology is pleased to announce that the College’s Senior Director of Development, Sharron Townsend, recently received the prestigious Beth K. Fields Award from CASE Kentucky, a professional organization that is affiliated with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). CASE, a global non-profit association, is dedicated to educational advancement. Its goal is to champion education in order to transform lives and society. As one of the few statewide CASE organizations, CASE Kentucky provides professional development opportunities for advancement professionals within the Commonwealth and from neighboring states, hosts awards competitions recognizing best practices and outstanding accomplishments, and provides scholarship opportunities.

     The Beth K. Fields Award was created in memory of Fields, an admired advancement professional and previous Director of Unit Associations for the University of Louisville Alumni Association. The award is designed to recognize someone who continually goes above and beyond the call of duty in both the profession and on behalf of CASE Kentucky, as well as having served the advancement profession for a minimum of 10 years. Due to her long standing affiliation with CASE-Kentucky and continued mentorship of many of her colleagues, Sharron Townsend was chosen as the 2019 Beth K. Fields Award Recipient.

Picture of Townsend accepting the Beth K. Fields Award

     “Sharron’s success is the result of her ability to develop meaningful relationships with her donors and connect them in meaningful ways to the life of the college and larger university. She is a powerful mentor because she is always willing to help a colleague create a plan, find a way to solve a problem, and celebrate the successes of others,” shared Laurel Raimondo Martin, previous CASE-Kentucky President.
Townsend served on the CASE-KY board starting in 1992, served as the board treasurer in 1998-1999 and has rarely missed a conference throughout the years. She started her career in Advancement in 1990, after accepting a position as the Director of Annual Giving Programs at the University of Kentucky. In 1996, she then went on to move to the College of Engineering where she served as the Director of College Advancement until 2014.

     With the help of her leadership, the first college-based institutional advancement program was established at the College of Engineering. From 1996-2011, $164 million in private support was raised. The college endowment was increased from $34 million to $74 million. Townsend supervised an advancement program staff including public relations, communications, alumni and development programs and served on the Dean’s executive management team.

     After retiring from the University of Kentucky, she has continued to work in the Advancement profession as a consultant and, most recently, as the Senior Director of Development at Eastern Kentucky University where she manages a portfolio of major gift prospects and donors and continues to mentor and support many of her colleagues. Dr. Tom Erekson, Dean of the College of Business and Technology, commented that “It was clear to me when Sharron was hired that she knew development and she knew fundraising. She knows her craft and she knows Kentucky, and she is very deserving of this award. Sharron Townsend continually goes above and beyond the call of duty in her role at EKU and in her profession.”

     The Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology congratulates Sharron Townsend on this prestigious award and is grateful for the impact she makes in the lives of students, alumni, and others not only at the University, but in the community as well.

- Student Writer, Christina Dunavan

Published on January 30, 2020