Department: Foundation

News from Foundation President/CEO DenaSue Potestio

April 24, 2015

Dear Foundation Trustees and Trustees Emeritus, Campus Community, and Friends,

During a scheduled executive session this morning at our quarterly board meeting, I relayed to members of the Foundation Executive and Finance Committees that I’ve been accepted into a master’s degree program with substantial funding in preparation for PhD studies—and after great deliberation, have decided to resign my position as your Foundation president/CEO to pursue this opportunity.  Members voted to accept my resignation today, effective early July, 2015.

I aspire to lead a university in the future and in most cases, as you know, a PhD is required.  While I understand the timing of this announcement may be surprising, please know that my father’s sudden passing in May of last year brought acute clarity that life passes in the blink of an eye, and must be pursued courageously. 

Sharing my news with the Executive and Finance Committees and our professional teams was extremely difficult, and it is equally difficult to share it with you, especially using this electronic format.  I expressed to trustees today my willingness to help make the transition over the next several weeks positive and productive, including possibly a role where I will continue to work with donors to see current projects through to fruition.  I’ve already begun a discussion with our officers about how a short-term arrangement might be structured.

I love Hornet Nation!  We are indeed Silent No More!  In the past three years, Hornet Nation—YOU!, President Michael and Karen Shonrock, our fantastic students and their families, faculty, professional teammates, and alumni and friends from every state in the nation in addition to Canada and China—have generously committed over $35 million through their 28,500+ gifts.  At the ESU Foundation, we consider every gift an act of faith.  I spoke with our Foundation and Alumni teams this morning.  They remain unwavering in their commitment to steward your gifts and inspire continued fund-raising success—Now and Forever

Succession planning is paramount to any organization, and I want you to know I have the utmost confidence in our Foundation team and Foundation Vice Presidents Jennifer Denton and Shane Shivley; they’re superb. 

Thank you.  I’m grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to serve Hornet Nation with all my heart.

Philanthropy = Love.


DenaSue Potestio

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