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Once there was an era when “the quiet man” was an ideal. A place it resonated was among those who found meaning and purpose in making a better life for others without the drumbeat and distraction of social mania. It has been said that Abraham Lincoln was such a man. CPGR has our own quiet men - one of whom is Scott Lumpkin. He is Vice Chancellor of University Advancement at the University of Denver, where he leads the University’s comprehensive outreach efforts to alumni, parents and other members of the DU community. Before being appointed vice chancellor in 2011, he led DU’s gift planning program for more than twenty-five years.
The last book Scott read is “The Litigators by John Grisham. It is a legal suspense novel about a dis-satisfied attorney who moves from a major legal firm to a boutique practice and pursues a major class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical giant. Lumpkin is a past board member of the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG), now the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP), as well as a founding member and Past President of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable. Scott is thrilled at how CPGR has grown and flourished since its inception all of those years ago. Scott has directed national research projects focused on planned giving including PPP's landmark nationwide demographic survey of donors: Planned Giving in the United States. He also helped develop PPP's Valuation Standards for Planned Gifts and its Guidelines for Counting and Reporting Planned Gifts.
In his 30 years of service to DU, Lumpkin has played a significant role in garnering many of the University’s largest gifts, reflecting his recognized expertise in charitable gift planning and ability to build strong relationships with alumni and friends of the University. Under his leadership the University successfully completed its $490 million Ascend Campaign in 2014, coinciding with DU’s 150th anniversary. He was also instrumental in DU’s previous $273 million campaign that transformed the campus in the 1990s.
Scott considers himself incredibly blessed to have been married for 34 years to his wife, Bonnie. They have three adult children (all DU alumni) and three grandchildren, and a very smart border collie named Keira. He has learned a few key lessons in his decades’ long career. Philanthropy is all about relationships – not only with donors but also with those you work with and with other associated professionals. True and enduring success takes a long-term perspective, both in terms of donor relationships and your career in fundraising. Personal integrity and your belief in your organization’s mission really do matter.
Scott is leaving a legacy within our world of planned giving. One that values professionalism and developing and sustaining relationships in all you do. As C. S. Lewis once wrote: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” Hopefully time will continue to be gracious to Scott and to us. He will be able to pursue his dream of learning to play an instrument and we will learn from his example to achieve the worthwhile in a quiet manner befitting the best of who we are.