Emory Report
March 7, 2005
Volume 57, Number 22


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March 7 , 2005
Dynamic Duo

BY eric rangus

Dan Macaluso enjoys mountain biking. Phil Hills is also a cyclist, though he prefers his roads paved. Hills previously worked at a UT—the University of Tampa (he earned his undergraduate degree from that institution and is a member of its board of trustees). Macaluso also recently arrived from a UT; until November, he had been associate vice president of resource development at the University of Texas at Austin.

The UT,” said Macaluso, fully embracing the view of all current and former Texans, even the transient kind (Macaluso was born and raised in Pennsylvania), who place the state (and its flagship university) at the center of the universe.

One of Macaluso’s first jobs out of Penn State was as a district circulation manager at the Centre Daily Times, the newspaper in his hometown of State College, Penn. In high school in Massachusetts, Hills delivered the Sunday Boston Globe, his 12-hour shift beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday night.

“There are a lot of sleepless hours making sure you have the paper in time for your first cup of coffee,” Macaluso said.

While Hills and Macaluso may not exactly have a lot of similarities, they certainly do have a lot of talking points. This is important, because as Emory’s Office of Development and University Relations continues its daily progression toward a major comprehensive campaign, the pair will be seeing a lot more of each other.

“We don’t like each other at all,” Macaluso said of Hills, vice president for development in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

“I’m getting tired of seeing him every day,” said Hills of Macaluso, vice president for development, university programs. They are, of course, kidding. And it’s their easy chemistry that makes Macaluso and Hills ideal fund-raising teammates.

That Emory soon will announce the beginning of a major, seven-year comprehensive campaign is perhaps the biggest open secret on campus. With just a few months to go before that announcement, administrators and development officers are in the “quiet phase” of preparation that precedes the campaign. Inside that quiet is a great deal of noise.

“We’re still assessing who our top constituents are and how we can broaden the base of support to Emory,” Macaluso said. “ What is our message? We don’t want to just go out there with a dollar goal; we want to go out there with a vision and a plan, demonstrating to people that Emory matters in their lives—regardless of whether or not they received their degree here. Gifts then become investments, and smart people invest in organizations that will make a difference in their lives and in the world.”

Johnnie Ray, senior vice president for development and university relations, is setting the tone for the upcoming campaign, but Hills and Macaluso are the leaders on the ground, building their teams, and working with deans and directors on campus, as well as with alumni and possible donors, to get a head start.

“This campaign really is Emory’s chance to go to the next level,” Hills said, adding that talk of a capital campaign has floated around campus for several years. “The hard part is getting Emory ready for this billion-ish dollar campaign.”

There is no official goal yet, Hills said, but the numbers being talked about have at least 10 digits in them. It’s how much above the 10 digits that’s the question. “We need to understand what each individual unit’s goal and how they mesh with the University’s strategic plan,” Hills said.

The pairing of Hills and Macaluso is not an accident. They have 33 years of combined their education fund-raising experience and are both entering their fourth major capital campaign. Giving Macaluso, who came to campus four months ago, a partner with close to six years’ development experience at Emory (Hills arrived in the summer of 1999) was an easy call.

“I think our philosophies and personalities click quite well,” Macaluso said. “It’s something you can talk about easily—‘yeah, yeah, we work together, we’re great chums’—but I think the more people see us together, the more they hear the same themes, the stronger our message will be.”

Part of that partnership message is a new attitude in how development is organized. It is a microcosm of President Jim Wagner’s stated goal of moving Emory from a “multiversity” to a “university.”

“Health sciences development and University development have always sat at the same table, but usually on different sides at different ends,” Hills said. “It was ‘us’ and ‘them.’”

The “us” Hills spoke of encompasses the schools of medicine, nursing and public health and units such as Yerkes and Emory Healthcare. The “them” consists of Emory College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the professional schools of business, law and theology, and the Carlos Museum. While the specific numbers change from year to year, health sciences development has raised an average of about $60 million a year, accounting for 60–70 percent of all gifts to Emory. The ideal is closer to a 50–50 split between health sciences and the rest of the University. That will be accomplished, if goals are met, by raising significantly more money overall—enlarging the total pie—and significantly increasing fund raising across the institution.

Although they are teammates, there are definite differences in Hills’ and Macaluso’s jobs: Hills’ team touches a lot of bases with former patients in the Emory Healthcare system and friends of the University. Macaluso’s team meets with many more alumni and parents (health sciences’ alumni base is much smaller than that of the college), but crossing onto each other’s turf is becoming commonplace and is encouraged.

“Being successful in this campaign is about us as a whole and how to maximize our potential,” Hills said. “How does our vision fit into each individual piece? How do nursing and the college fit together? How do medicine and the business school fit together? What bridges can we build between the silos to make each one taller and stronger by being tied together? In the last six months, we’ve done more joint proposals between health sciences and University programs than we did in the first five years I was here. The upside is huge.”

It’s an understatement that the continuing run-up to the comprehensive campaign—as well as the campaign itself—is going to be a lot of work. But the people doing it have youth on their side. Both Hills and Macaluso are still in their 30s.

“This place does not look at your age and assume you don’t deserve your job,” Macaluso said. “After all, many of our senior leadership are young but highly substantive people. Regardless of age, the common theme is that we all want to make a difference here.”

“This University is young among other elite universities, and because of that it is incredibly nimble,” Hills added. “One of the great things about Emory is that is open to change. It can adjust to seize opportunities while still holding tightly to its values and ethics.”

Whether that youth lasts, though, remains to be seen. “Five years ago when I got here, I had no gray hair,” said Hills, whose dark brown hair now has noticeable streaks of lightness. “So five years from now, I look at Macaluso, and he’s as gray as can be.”

Macaluso laughed and only slightly raised his hand, as if to check his full head of light brown hair, before returning his arm to the table.