Associate Vice Chancellor for Principal Gifts
John Davis has been a professional in the development/advancement field for over 25 years, specializing in educational fundraising. Beginning his career at the private high school level in 1986, his first position was as director of development and Alumni Relations at Austin Preparatory School. After conducting a successful library building campaign, he moved to Bishop Hendricken High School in Rhode Island. As director of development, he successfully concluded a stalled $25 million capital campaign for new science laboratories.
Davis was then quickly recruited by the University of Rhode Island to work as a major gift officer for the university’s $100 million “Centennial Campaign.” His position included supervision of campaign efforts for the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Human Sciences & Services and the University Library.
Davis joined the Massachusetts higher education system in 1992 as director of Alumni Relations and development at Worcester State College. During his tenure, he raised funds to complete upgrades to the state-of-the-art athletic field complex and developed and ran the first comprehensive alumni homecoming and reunion programs. After four years, Davis joined the advancement team at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1996.
Here he began his career as the major gift officer for the Francis College of Engineering and the Department of Athletics, and rose through various positions to the level of interim vice chancellor, a position he held for over three years. Davis was responsible for an engineering capital and equipment improvement program that raised over $30 million in a five-year period and supervised two endowment building programs that increased the private scholarship endowment at UMass Lowell from $12 million to over $40 million in a six-year period.
In 2008 Davis was again recruited to bring a positive conclusion to a capital campaign, joining the staff at the University of Hartford as executive director of development to finish the $125 million “Campaign of Commitment,” which celebrated the university’s 50th anniversary. After the campaign’s conclusion, Davis returned to UMass Lowell, joining Chancellor Marty Meehan’s new leadership team and participating in the building of a new comprehensive advancement effort at the University.
Serving in a new role as associate vice chancellor, Davis supervises the leadership and principal giving efforts of the University and has personally closed six gifts of over a $1 million in the last three years. During his career in the Massachusetts Higher Education system, Davis has raised well over $100 million in philanthropic support.