Welcome to SCAFRO 2019!

Illinois Wesleyan University - Bloomington-Normal


Wednesday, July 10 – Friday, July 12, 2019

The 2019 SCAFRO Conference is jointly hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) and Oberlin College – the conference is being held on IWU’s campus in Bloomington, Illinois. This webpage has information about the conference, including 1) sessions, 2) conference schedule, 3) travel, 4) housing, 5) meals, and 6) special events. Notifications will be distributed through the group listserv, but updated information will also be available here. If you have questions or concerns, contact Dick Folse, Illinois Wesleyan’s Director of Grants and Foundation Relations at We look forward to seeing you in Illinois!


Sessions | Schedule | Travel | Housing | Meals | Special Events


A Fireside Chat with the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation

Leaders at the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVDF) are pleased with proposals received since the Foundation examined and confirmed its priorities in 2018.  Join Annie Bryan and Helen Warren for this fireside chat about Dr. Michael Murray's arrival as AVDF president in April 2019, and his affirmation of 3 foundation priorities:  1) to strengthen America's private institutions of higher learning in ways that promote leadership, diversity and humility; 2) to advance humane, respectful end of life care; and 3) to seek effective ways to steward our environment in ways that are ethical and sustainable. Annie and Helen will also discuss practical questions, including the volume of proposals and awards AVDF is likely to consider and the best practices for approaching and collaborating with foundation staff.  

Annie Bryan is the Foundations' Senior Program Officer. She works across all program areas, with specific leadership of our Environmental Engagement, Stewardship and Solutions program, Palliative Care program, and our Interfaith program.  Annie provides support to grantee partners and stakeholders as the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' pursue a new strategic plan and develop partnerships that align with our philanthropic priorities.

Helen B. Warren is the Director of Government, Foundation, and Corporate Relations at St. Olaf College. She works across all program areas to secure external support so faculty, staff and students at St. Olaf can pursue the college's mission just as their talents incline them.  

The Changing Role of CFR

The evolving higher education funding landscape increasingly requires us to stretch the boundaries traditionally associated with CFR work.  During this interactive session, we will explore the ways in which this shift provides new opportunities for us to own (and potentially expand) our roles as nimble, value-added strategic partners on campus, and to leverage our core competencies for the benefit of our institutions.    

Session Facilitators:

Nicole Marshall, Director of College Grants and Sponsored Programs at Union College;

Ryan Sauder, Assistant Dean of Academic Advancement, Senior Director of College Grants and Foundation & Corporate Relations at Franklin & Marshall College;

Michelle Wamsley, Assistant Vice President, Foundation, Corporate & Government Relations at the University of Richmond.

SCAFRO Read: Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

This session will begin with small group discussions of the book Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education by Nathan Grawe, Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Social Sciences at Carleton College. The session will conclude with a facilitated all-member dialogue about the roles that Grants and Foundation Relations professionals may have in advancing the liberal arts in the face of demographic change.

Session Facilitators:

Juliette Cagigas, Director of Foundation, Corporate, and Governmental Relations at Scripps College;

Christopher Tassava, Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations/Coordinator of Faculty Support at Carleton College.

* Requires pre-purchase of the book. Buy locally! or online...

NexSTEM, a Community Collaboration to Advance STEM Education

Inspired through a community-wide economic development initiative, three higher education institutions with complementary missions are working with community partners to create new opportunities for low-income, academically talented students to pursue STEM degrees.  Supported by a Track-3, National Science Foundation S-STEM grant, the NexSTEM program will support students though mentoring, renewable scholarships, and participation in community-serving research projects.  Panelists will present what has made their partnership equitable and successful.

Session Facilitator: Dick Folse, Director of Grants and Foundation Relations at Illinois Wesleyan University

Panel: Rebecca Roesner, Chair and Professor of Chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan University;  George Rutherford, Associate Professor of Physics at Illinois State University; Tom Prudhomme, Instructor of Biology at Heartland Community College; Zach Dietmeier, Vice President at Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council; and Sheri Glowinski, Director of the NexSTEM Program.

HHMI: Advice from Successful Colleges

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Inclusive Excellence III competition is asking colleges and universities how they can change to meet the needs of today’s students. Panelists from 7 current Inclusive Excellence awardees will share the plans and activities their institutions proposed to advance inclusive excellence, the approaches their campuses took in developing their HHMI proposal, and lessons learned thus far.

Session Facilitator: Rachel Wray, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Bates College

Panel: Ann Jenks, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Kalamazoo College; Pam Snyder, Executive Director, Office of Foundation, Government, and Corporate Grants at Oberlin College; Gary Hohenberger, Associate Vice President for Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations at Vassar College; Karen Ossen, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Wellesley College; and Patricia DeMarco, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and Sponsored Programs at Wheaton College.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The session is an open, facilitated discussion about Innovation and Entrepreneurship with entrepreneur Marc Talluto and dialogue from conference attendees. During a recent poll of attendees, 50% of the schools noted they have some form of entrepreneurship programming on campus, while the remaining schools stated that they recognized a desire and need to offer programming in this area. The session's purpose is to share ideas, successes, and known challenges related to universities engaging with students, businesses, alumni, and funders around entrepreneurship. All attendees are encouraged to be involved in the discussion.

Session Facilitator: Jerry Buckley, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and Legislative Affairs, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Breakfast Table Discussion Sessions


New Members Orientation - If you are new to SCAFRO, join Rachna Sinnott, Director of Grants and Foundation Relations at Whitman College, and other seasoned participants for the 411 about the conference and organization.

Corporate Sponsorships - Join this table to share ideas and information about best practices in corporate sponsorship solicitation.


Arts Funding Landscape - Join Maurice S. Luker III, Executive Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations at Lafayette College, for a discussion and perspectives on arts funding yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: What's Next? - Join this table to share what you know, what you think you know, and what you suspect about future funding directions...

Conference Schedule

Download full agenda as a PDF. (includes locations and shuttle schedule)


All Day - Arrival and Conference Registration: Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center


6:00 p.m. - No Host Dinner with SCAFRO colleagues in Uptown Normal

8:30 p.m. - Dessert and Wine Welcome Reception, Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Beaufort Room.


7:00 a.m. - Optional self-guided walking tour of trees in the quad on Illinois State University's campus

8:00 a.m. - Breakfast and Registration 

8:45 a.m. - Welcome and Introductions

9:15 a.m. - Session 1 - The Changing Role of CFR

10:30 a.m. - Break and Light Refreshments

10:45 a.m. - Grants Review I

12:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:15 p.m. - Session 2 - NexSTEM, a Community Collaboration to Advance STEM Education

2:30 p.m. - Break and Light Refreshments         

2:45 p.m. - Strategic Planning I - See pre-conference survey results

4:15 p.m. - Free Time

5:50 p.m. - Load Shuttles and Departure for Dinner

6:30 p.m. - Reception and Dinner at McLean County Art Center

8:30 p.m. - Optional: Pub Crawl


7:00 a.m. - Optional self-guided walk-run on the Constitution Trail

8:00 a.m. - Breakfast, Illinois Wesleyan University 

8:45 a.m. - Session 3 - Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

10:00 a.m. - Break and Light Refreshments       

10:15 a.m. - Session 4: Arthur Vining Davis Foundation – Annie Bryan

11:30 p.m. - Grants Review II

12:30 p.m. - Lunch

1:45 p.m. - Strategic Planning II

2:30 p.m. - Break and Light Refreshments

2:45 p.m. - Business Meeting

3:45 p.m. - Free time

4:30 p.m. - Bus Loading and Departure for Museum and Dinner         

6:00 p.m. - Private Tour Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, IL

8:00 p.m. - Dinner at Maldaner’s Restaurant, Springfield, IL

9:30 p.m. - Bus Departs for Bloomington-Normal


8:00 a.m. - Continental Breakfast, Center for Natural Science Atrium

8:45 a.m. - Session 5 - SCAFRO Read: Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

9:45 a.m. - Break

10:00 a.m. - Session 6 - HHMI: Advice from Successful Colleges

11:30 a.m. - Box lunch pick-up, Center for Natural Science Atrium

12:00 p.m. - Hotel Shuttle Service to airport



Bloomington- Normal is conveniently located in central Illinois, just 30 minutes via plane and 2 hours by car from Chicago. The Central Illinois Regional Airport (Airport Code: BMI) is 8 minutes from campus in Bloomington, and offers daily service by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Allegiant Airlines to Chicago O’Hare, Dallas - Fort Worth, Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando, Denver, and St. Petersburg.

Shuttle service is provided from the airport to the hotel. Look for the Marriott Shuttle just outside of baggage claim. They know when you are arriving and have your name.

Bloomington-Normal is also accessible by train – the Amtrak station is one block from the hotel, and by car with three major highways converging on the city (I-55, I-74, I-39). Please contact Dick Folse at for more information about these travel options.

Parking is free on Illinois Wesleyan’s campus, and included at the hotel as part of the room rate.

There will be an IWU shuttle service between campus and the hotel. Details will be provided at check-in.



Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center is central to the community and only one mile from campus. This beautiful hotel has a pool, workout center and on-site cafe for Starbucks beverages. The conference rate is $125 per night plus taxes and fees – mention SCAFRO when booking.

Book your room at the group rate for SCAFRO Room Block, or call 1-309-862-9000


The Gates at Illinois Wesleyan University offers a limited number of apartment-style housing accommodations with private single bedrooms and air conditioning. Email Dick Folse at for more information.


Most meals are included in the conference registration fee. For detailed meal information, view the meal plan. Email Dick Folse at with dietary restrictions.


Wednesday, July 10


Join us at the McLean County Art Center in downtown Bloomington for art, jazz, and great Chicago-style pizza. Giordano’s Famous Chicago Pizza and local micro-brewed beers will help you understand why Chicagoans claim to have the best of the best pizza anywhere!

Thursday, July 11



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois brings to life Abraham Lincoln’s story through immersive exhibits in a full-scale representation of Lincoln’s log cabin home and the White House,  displays of original artifacts, and a holographic theatrical production. Springfield is an easy hour-long bus ride with part of the journey along historic Route 66!


After the museum, enjoy a stroll past Illinois' Old State Capital where Lincoln gave his famous "a house divided" speech before arriving at dinner at the historic Maldaner’s Restaurant (est. 1884).