Betsy Clardy joined UTMB as vice president and chief development officer in 2008. In her role, she has led development efforts to secure philanthropic funding to support UTMB’s priority research, education and patient care initiatives. This includes the largest campaign in UTMB’s 125-year history, “Working Wonders—The Campaign for UTMB Health.” Since launching in 2012, the campaign has received commitments totaling $413.2 million, or 92 percent of the campaign’s $450 million goal. Clardy also successfully guided the UTMB Family Campaign, during which employees and retirees gave a record-breaking $11.6 million.
Prior to coming to UTMB, Clardy was vice president for Resource Development and Alumni Relations at her alma mater, Texas Lutheran University. She also served as director of development for principal gifts at UT’s MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where she led a team that was responsible for fundraising efforts across 16 states. Clardy is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, currently serves on the board of the Round Top Festival Institute and is a published author—she wrote the book, “Making the Most of Your Special Event.”
What does the Road Ahead look like for you?
The Road Ahead looks very exciting as our Development team seeks to complete UTMB’s $450 million Working Wonders Campaign in the next year. As of Oct. 12, we have raised $413,254,733 (92 percent) of our goal. We owe a tremendous amount of the campaign’s success to the leadership of Dr. Callender and our Development Board members, our Campaign Cabinet and Campaign Regional Chairs and Vice Chairs, and the members of our 11 Campaign Regional Leadership Councils located throughout the Texas, whose membership is composed of our UTMB alumni, donors and friends.
Have you been surprised by the level of generosity shown by the UTMB family?
It is always the aim of campaigns to launch with great success as they kick-off their fundraising efforts. In planning the launch, we wanted to lead with our UTMB Family Campaign. Our employees and retirees stepped forward in our “Working Together the Future Is Ours” Family Campaign to give an extraordinary amount that now totals $11.6 million. We are extremely proud of our UTMB family, and when we tell our alumni, donors and friends, they are truly amazed. When we were preparing to launch the UTMB Family Campaign, we knew that our UTMB employees and retirees would give generously to UTMB, but we had no idea that they would give at such a tremendous level of support. Because of the extraordinary generosity of our UTMB family, we were able to launch the Working Wonders Campaign with this huge family gift.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is working with our exceptionally talented Development team and UTMB’s alumni, donors and friends to support UTMB’s mission. Each day, I look forward to the opportunity to interact with people who are dedicated to and invested in raising this great institution to the next level. It is truly a privilege to work here!
The path that led you to fundraising as a career is truly inspiring. Can you talk about how adversity led you to it?
I had never thought about fundraising as a career, but I ended up in the profession that I am truly passionate about due to a lifechanging event when I was a young mother. I lost my first husband to cancer and 10 years later, after remarrying and moving with my son to Houston to join my new husband Bert, I applied for a job at MD Anderson Cancer Center. When interviewed by the HR representative, I explained that I didn’t have a particular job in mind—I just wanted to give back to those affected by cancer. Because I had done fundraising as a volunteer, they sent me to the Development Office and that’s where I began my fundraising career. With that decision, my career in Development was off and running, and I was blessed to have opportunities over the following years that continued a path forward. Coming to UTMB brought me to an institution that has its heart and soul focused on a mission of education, patient care and research. I have found inspiration, fulfillment and joy being a part of the UTMB team!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like to spend time with my husband Bert, our four children and their spouses, and I find it super special to be with our five grandchildren. Bert and I like to walk our miniature dachshund SoLong on the East Beach. We also enjoy our trips to New Braunfels, the Texas Hill Country and the mountains of North Carolina and Colorado. I also like to needlepoint (although I haven’t done much of that in these last few years).
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know?
I’ve had three careers. I started out in banking, then I worked for the Board of Trustees of a hospital and the estate that funded it and, lastly, I focused my career on fundraising.