Northeastern athletic development director
named to head private fund drive for URI Convocation Center
KINGSTON, R.I. -- December 29, 1998 -- The University of Rhode Island
has taken an important step forward in its drive to build a new Convocation
Center by hiring Robert M. Turcotte as the director of the centers
private fund-raising campaign, it was announced today by Robert M. Beagle,
URIs vice president for university advancement and chair of the search
committee that selected Turcotte from a national field of 50.
Turcotte, of Newtonville, Mass., leaves his post as director of athletic
development at Northeastern University, a position he held since 1996. He
begins his duties at URI Jan. 4.
Turcotte, who will report directly to Beagle, will solicit gifts and
provide support for the volunteers and development staff during their solicitation
efforts for the Universitys Convocation Center, a $43.6 million facility
of which $15 million will be raised through private donations.
The Convocation Center will host a wide array of events, including cultural
and entertainment programs, nationally known speakers, athletic contests,
and commencement and convocation ceremonies.
Turcotte, a Woonsocket native, whose parents still live in the Northern
Rhode Island city, brings to URI 13 years of progressively more responsible
experience in athletic administration, sports management and fund-raising
in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics.
He has been successful in major gift fund-raising within a campaign setting,
as well as with large-scale prospect management on an annual basis.
"Hes very enthusiastic about the project," Beagle said.
" We are impressed that he was a major gifts officer in a capital campaign,
and that hes been a successful athletics fund-raiser and athletic
facilities manager. He is a highly energized person."
As the director of athletic development at Northeastern, Turcotte has
managed the daily operations of a division that is responsible for an average
of $1.7 million in gift commitments and $1.2 million in cash payments annually
over the last five years, with a sustained 15 to 25 percent annual growth
rate. Projects completed under his direction include a $16 million Student
Recreation Complex, a $1.8 million hockey arena expansion and renovation
and an $800,000 Varsity Club Room renovation.
Before his current position at Northeastern, Turcotte served as associate
director of athletic development and sports marketing and athletic ticket
manager at the private university in Boston, which enrolls a total of 30,000
students, 11,000 of them undergraduates. He also held positions as a marketing
research assistant for Bob Woolf Associates Inc. in Boston and the Flynn
Recreation Complex facility supervisor at Boston College. He earned his
bachelors degree in biology from Boston College and his masters
in sport and recreation management from Northeastern.
Turcotte is excited to be returning to Rhode Island for what he says
is a great project.
"Being a Rhode Island native, and following Rhode Island sports,
I know how exciting it is right now at URI. I am very impressed with Bob
Beagle, President (Robert L.) Carothers and Gov. (Lincoln) Almond, and their
commitment to the project. This is good for the state, good for the school.
A project like this transcends athletics and I have seen what these kinds
of facilities can do to transform a campus," Turcotte said.
Turcotte is the son of Robert and Linda Turcotte, who still live in the
Woonsocket home where he was raised. His father was a state probation and
parole officer for 30 years before retiring a couple of years ago.
Turcotte and his wife, Sharon, have a 4-year-old son, Maxwell, and are
expecting their second child in March.
The Convocation Center, with a minimum 7,500-8000-seat arena, is one
of the largest design and construction projects in the Universitys
history. Its construction and maintenance will be funded similarly to other
such major facilities -- through a combination of private donations, state
support, naming opportunities, ticket surcharges, student fees, university-issued
bonds and revenue from luxury and club seats.
Convocation Centers exist at major universities to provide facilities
to house large-scale events for the benefit of the campus and surrounding
communities. The facility will also have the capacity and the technology
needed for large conferences, business meetings, and civic functions to
serve the community. This center will afford the University the opportunity
to present an expanded list of events to enrich the lives of its students
and all Rhode Islanders.
The University of Rhode Island is a community of nearly 17,000 peoplecurrently
enrolling 14,319 undergraduate and graduate students and employing approximately
700 faculty and nearly 1,800 professional and support staff.
For Further Information: Linda A. Acciardo 401-874-2116