News from The Foundation

2021 UTFI Board of Directors Award Recipients

The Board of Directors Award recognizes outstanding achievements by advancement staff in applying creative concepts to improving performance, advancing fundraising efforts and promoting a better understanding of the university-wide major gift fundraising activities. It is the most prestigious award a Foundation employee can receive. Congratulations to the 2021 recipients!

Philip Bonfiglio

Phil Bonfiglio
Director of Regional and Planned Giving
UT at Chattanooga – College of Engineering and Computer Science

Phil came to UTC in 2017 as the director of development for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Through his work the college has experienced significant growth. Giving to the college has steadily increased culminating in the highest gift total in its history in 2020 with over $1,500,000 in total gifts, a 75 percent increase over the three year period. Phil also started two programs within the college, “Major Gifts 101” which is presented to new faculty in CECS each year and “Fundraising with Phil” which is presented to the student groups within the CECS. Through these programs, Phil presents the nuts and bolts of how philanthropy works, how it can benefit their programs and how they can be involved.

Using years of experience in fundraising, Phil is a true asset to the entire organization. He is always willing to share his experiences and knowledge regarding his work, and he is a mentor to our younger staff who are just beginning their careers in higher education fundraising. As a University of Tennessee, Knoxville graduate he fully understands the mission and vision of the foundation and the life changing work that takes place each day.

Tony Burns

Tony Burns
Director of Development
UT Health Science Center – College of Dentistry

Tony, who is in his third year of service as the director of development, has demonstrated a commitment to promote fundraising and friend-raising activities in addition to his primary portfolio management and alumni engagement responsibilities. He has been instrumental in the conceptualization and implementation of the College of Dentistry alumni Town Halls and is utilizing innovative digital platforms to engage external constituents.

Tony is known as a leader with high potential; particularly to senior management. He directly manages the Fundraising Committee with the College of Dentistry’s alumni board. He also works with the college’s Moving Forward Committee to focus on diversity, environment and inclusion and was unanimously named co-chair of the inaugural DEI committee. He is committed to his position and excelling at the highest level. His belief in social justice and creating an equitable environment for all members of the UT community is a priority.

Terri Clark

Terri Clark
Director of Prospect Development

Terri has over eighteen years of experience in advancement at various institutions including, University of Louisville, Virginia Tech and UT Chattanooga. She is very respected among her UTFI colleagues and in the advancement world, and is a sought after speaker at various conferences and institutions. Terri currently oversees a staff of eight individuals and is responsible for prospect identification, fundraiser portfolio management, gift agreements, fund accounts and research profile services which has an enormous system-wide impact on our Foundation’s fundraising goals.

Terri’s team works with gift agreements, which are required for donor commitments of $25,000 or more to the University of Tennessee. Her team reviews more than 1,200 gift agreements, totaling over $300 million per fiscal year from over 120 development professionals. She was tasked to implement a solution that would streamline our current gift agreement workflow. Her solutions have received an enormous amount of positive feedback and has been nominated for a CASE award. This solution is critical to UTFI operations and has transformed business and fundraising initiatives.


LeeAnn Craig

Lee Ann Craig
Coordinator of Contracts and Purchasing

Lee Ann continually provides the Foundation with innovative solutions and she always remains focused on efforts of continuous improvement. While Lee Ann formally serves as coordinator of contracts and purchasing, her contributions extend far beyond her formal role. She continually exceeds individual goals, strives for professional development and maintains the highest level of commitment to the Foundation.

The recent pandemic demanded creativity in every role and Lee Ann supplied extraordinary ingenuity. The virus necessitated cancellation or renegotiation of all entertainment and venue contracts for scheduled events. She developed an approach with effective communication between the Foundation and venues to proactively modify all contractual financial obligations in the Foundation’s favor. Her effective management transformed a potential liability into a strength and demonstrated creativity in the face of unexpected challenges.


Mallorie Mendence

Mallorie Mendence
Director of Special Events and Public Relations
UT Knoxville

When the world suddenly shifted to a virtual platform, Mallorie was instrumental in redefining how we could engage alumni in brand new ways. In an effort to maintain progress toward alumni engagement goals, without being able to execute in-person events, Mallorie led the UT Knoxville alumni team to adapt all of our events to a new format, she created new innovative programs that will be with us long term and ensured we surpassed this engagement goal during a year where we could have fallen far behind.

Mallorie also led the successful execution of our very first awards program for alumni under the age of 40, with the Volunteer 40 Under 40 award. She continues to provide effective management and coordination of the Advancement Corporate Partner program, overseeing partnership agreements for an average of six corporate partners, and cultivating new partnerships for the future.