Skip to main content
Leslie Murphy

KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has hired a chief development officer for the Memphis area. Leslie Murphy has more than 10 years of fundraising experience, with most of her career spent in higher education.

“As the state’s flagship university, our alumni and friends live and work throughout Tennessee,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “The support of our alumni and friends is crucial to the university’s goal to become a Top 25 research university. Having a development officer based in West Tennessee will help to better serve the entire state.”

Most recently, Murphy served as interim associate vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs for the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC). In that role, she oversaw the fundraising efforts of six development officers and was the chief major gifts officer.

Murphy joined the UTHSC staff in June 2009 and solicited more than $12 million in gifts in her first six months. She secured a $4.5 million for the College of Pharmacy, which was the largest private gift in the college’s history.

Prior to that, Murphy served in fundraising and management roles for Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Business and the American Heart Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Auburn University and a master’s degree in arts education administration from UAB.

“Leslie’s experience in higher education and her familiarity with Memphis and the surrounding areas will be invaluable to our development goals,” said Linda Davidson, vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs. “She has a proven track record as a major gift officer, and we are confident she’ll be an important member of our fundraising team.”

Gifts to UT Knoxville are part of UT’s $1 billion Campaign for Tennessee, of which the Knoxville campus goal is more than $600 million. The campaign will continue through December 2011 with particular emphasis on increasing the campus endowment to create more student scholarships, professorships, research opportunities and curriculum enhancements. Funds raised will directly impact UT Knoxville’s goal of becoming a Top 25 research university within 10 years.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008,