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John Davis Recognized for Fundraising Excellence

National Organization Honors UMass Lowell Advancement Professional


Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or, and  Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – During his career in the Massachusetts higher education system, UMass Lowell Associate Vice Chancellor for Principal Gifts John Davis has raised more than $100 million in philanthropic support. 

For this and other career achievements at UMass Lowell and other private and public educational institutions, he received the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District I Quarter Century Circle Award recognizing his 25 years of service. The award was given to Davis during the District I conference at Boston’s Westin Copley Place on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Davis has been a professional in the development/advancement field for more than 25 years, specializing in education fundraising. Through UMass Lowell’s Office of University Advancement, Davis supervises the leadership and principal giving efforts of the university and has personally closed six gifts of more than $1 million each over the last three years. 

After 10 years of fundraising at private high schools and public colleges and universities, Davis joined the advancement team at UMass Lowell in 1996. He began his career at the university as the major gift officer for the university’s Francis College of Engineering and the Department of Athletics and rose to interim vice chancellor, a position he held for three years. Davis was responsible for an engineering capital and equipment improvement program that raised more than $30 million over five years and he supervised two endowment-building programs that increased the private scholarship endowment at UMass Lowell from $12 million to more than $40 million over six years.  

Davis briefly left UMass Lowell for a position at the University of Hartford where he brought a successful conclusion to its $125 million “Campaign of Commitment.” He then returned to UMass Lowell in 2008, joining Chancellor Marty Meehan’s new leadership team and participating in the building of a new comprehensive advancement effort at the university.

“John’s determination and enthusiasm for higher education and for UMass Lowell has resulted in millions of dollars for student scholarships, academics and student life programs.  John’s 25 years of experience, knowledge and passion has had a tremendous impact and been instrumental to the growth of the university,” said Edward Chiu, vice chancellor of University Advancement. “This CASE Quarter Century Circle Award is fitting recognition for his many contributions.” 

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.