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NAADD Announces 2012 Award Winners

March 21, 2012

CLEVELAND – The National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) has announced the recipients of its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, University of St. Thomas (Minn.) Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Dienhart, and the Association’s Fundraiser of the Year Award – University Division winner, Southern Methodist University (SMU) Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs, Tim Leonard.

“On behalf of NAADD, I want to congratulate both Mark and Tim on being named this year’s NAADD Award winners,” stated NAADD President Whit Babcock, director of athletics at the University of Cincinnati. “We look forward to recognizing their accomplishments at the 2012 NAADD Convention.”

The Award winners will be honored Tuesday, June 26 at the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 47th Annual NACDA Convention at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Lifetime Achievement Award 

markMark Dienhart has been a staple on the St. Thomas campus from his days as a two-sport All-American undergraduate to his role today as the university’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Currently, Dienhart is the campaign director for St. Thomas’ $500 million Opening Doors Capital Campaign, which will conclude in October 2012. The half billion dollar campaign, which has already raised more than $455 million, could be the largest campaign ever successfully conducted by a private college or university in the Upper Midwest.

Dienhart helped secure the largest single donation by an individual to a college or university in Minnesota history, $60 million, from last year’s NAADD Donors of the Year – College Division, Lee & Penny Anderson. That served as the lead gift in the construction of the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex and Anderson Student Center on St. Thomas’ St. Paul campus. The St. Thomas campaign also includes a pair of $50 million gifts from anonymous donors.

From 1990-2000, Dienhart served the University of Minnesota men’s athletics department in various capacities, moving up the ranks from associate AD to senior association AD to the Athletics Director chair. While at Minnesota, he led the fundraising campaigns for the construction of Mariucci Arena and the remodeling of Williams Arena, while securing monies for the naming of the Gibson/Nagurski Football Practice Facility.

Dienhart is a NAADD Past President and former NACDA Executive Committee member.

Fundraiser of the Year - University Division

TimTim Leonard has led resurgence on the Southern Methodist campus since his arrival in July 2008, helping secure over $100 million in private support of the athletics department. Mustang Club donations have grown for three straight years while all athletics annual giving has also reached milestone marks.

The 2011 fiscal year reached an all-time high, surpassing $6.6 million in annual gifts and over $10.5 million in total gifts. In the last two fiscal years, annual giving to SMU athletics has increased over 40 percent under Leonard’s watch.

Fiscal year 2012 is looking to be no different, on pace to set record numbers for both the athletics annual fund and total giving. The Second Century Campaign has stimulated giving at SMU with over $100 million committed to athletics.

Prior to coming to SMU, Leonard served as assistant VP and associate athletics director for athletics development at Central Florida, securing the naming rights of the new football stadium for $15 million in 2006.

About NAADD: NAADD is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities, enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics, and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of athletics development and fund raising. For more information about NAADD, please visit www.naadd.com. NAADD is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 47th year. For more information on NACDA and the 12 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.