George Abdo, the man who lead the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of the , will retire Aug. 31 of this year, the Huntington announced in a prepared statement Tuesday.
Abdo, vice-president for advancement, joined the Huntington in 2002 to aid the institution’s struggling financial situation.
“George’s ability to assemble a topnotch team of experienced fundraisers, researchers, and strategists was a key component in what became an unprecedented success story for the institution,” said Huntington President Steven S. Koblik in the statement. “He completely transformed how fundraising is done at The Huntington.”
Abdo launched For Generations to Come—The Campaign for the Huntington, which occurred from 2004-2010, along with Koblik and others. The $175 million fundraising goal was the highest in the Huntington’s history.
“We could not have imagined at the time that we would end the campaign with more than $244 million,” said Koblik. “It’s just astonishing and supremely satisfying. And George’s leadership was central to it.”
The funds helped build the , expand the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, and renovate the Huntington Art Gallery, according to the Huntington. Abdo also significantly increased planned giving, so more people are setting aside gifts for The Huntington in their wills.
The Huntington breaks down the money raised as 160,000 individual gifts. Of those, 325 donors gave $50,000 or more and 70 donors gave $1 million or more. Huntington membership also rose from 23,000 to 34,000 since 2002.
“New initiatives now under way include the renovation of the , a major project, reinstallation of the main Library Exhibition Hall, and the second phase of the Chinese Garden,” said Koblik.
The funds from For Generations to Come, combined with the recent $117 million , plus additional gifts before and after the campaign, total nearly half a billion dollars to the Huntington since 2002, Koblik said.