After more than a quarter of century of service, Chadron State Foundation Chief Executive Officer Connie Rasmussen will retire at the end of 2017.
Rasmussen, a CSC alumna, began her Chadron State College career as the Title III Program Coordinator in 1990, before being hired as the Director of Alumni and Annual Giving in 1992. In 2003, Rasmussen was named the Foundation’s CEO.
“There is never a good time to leave a job you love, but there is a right time,” Rasmussen said. “And on this, my 25th anniversary, that right time is now. It has been an incredibly rewarding and satisfying adventure.”
Rasmussen praised her staff and enjoyed the many moments she shared with Chadron State alumni and friends.
“The opportunity to work with this staff, Chadron State Foundation and college leadership, as well as work with our alumni and friends has been a true joy,” Rasmussen said. “Thousands of alumni and friends opened their doors to me during the years I traveled Nebraska and across the nation seeking their support for Chadron State College. Their kindness and generosity remains with me. Words are inadequate to express my appreciation.”
Linda Redfern, Chair of the Chadron State Foundation Board of Directors, admires Rasmussen for her leadership and passion for Chadron State.
“Connie has been a key figure in building the Chadron State Foundation and making it a more effective partner in the life of the college,” Redfern said. “When Connie took the helm of the Foundation, we had our challenges. What has transpired over the last 15 years has been transformational.”
Rasmussen led Chadron State Foundation in its first multi-million dollar comprehensive campaign, Vison 2011, in which more than $30 million was secured. As part of that campaign, three campus facilities were funded and built with support from the Foundation: the Chicoine Center, the Rangeland Lab and Classroom facility and the Coffee Agriculture Pavilion. In addition to securing funds for construction, significant new endowment and program funds were secured.
During Rasmussen’s tenure, the Chadron State Foundation’s assets increased to $22 million and the dollar value of student scholarships distributed grew by 60 percent. Endowed funds grew by 54 percent, and in 2016 more than 2,431 alumni and friends made charitable gifts to the Foundation.
“The numbers speak volumes,” Redfern said, “and of course, Connie gives everyone else the credit.”
Chadron State President Dr. Randy Rhine is proud of how well Rasmussen represented the college and its alumni through the years.
“Connie has represented this college with professionalism, grace and humor, and her effectiveness has been extraordinary,” Rhine said. “It takes special skills, commitment and a passion for one’s alma mater to succeed as a fundraiser. She spent many nights on the road representing Chadron State and her success has been Chadron State’s success.”
Redfern said the Chadron State Foundation Board of Directors has begun its work to secure the Foundation’s next Executive Officer.