Independent School Support Staff Distinguished Service Award
This award honors an advancement support staff member for long-term service as a dedicated member of an independent school's advancement team. Judges look at length of service, level of responsibility and impact on the school.
About the 2020 award recipient: Marlene Connor
Marlene Connor is in her 32nd year with University School of Milwaukee, where she has expertly served as Database Manager for 25 of these years. She has been a pioneer in myriad aspects of advancement, including online giving, auction management, wealth screening, donor recognition, and stewardship, and implementing new databases and processes that enable the school’s fundraisers to be more effective. Over the course of her career, she has processed and acknowledged an estimated 50,000 gifts. As a result of her attention to detail, knowledge of the community, and conscientious work ethic, USM’s database and related systems are continually recognized for being at the highest levels of accuracy, organization, and efficiency.
One nominator wrote, “Marlene could write the book when it comes to the history and natural evolution of a successful advancement program at an independent school,” thanks to her significant knowledge and understanding of the nuances of independent school advancement, Importantly, she views donors as individuals, “appreciating them and knowing more about them as donors, community members, and often as members of long-standing legacy families. Marlene is the glue of our department, providing the always appreciated institutional memory and commitment to mission upon which schools like ours rely.”