Allie Quick ’94 was named senior executive director of principal gifts and university leadership engagement at the University of Pittsburgh this year. A member of the Vice Chancellor’s management team, she is responsible for managing a portfolio of university-wide prospects and coordinating strategies for prospects with the capacity to make philanthropic investments of $5 million or greater. Her successful career in higher education and fundraising started while still a student at HWS – and without her even realizing she had chosen the path.
“When I look back, I was definitely on the higher ed. track and didn’t know it,” says Quick, who originally was pursuing a degree in clinical psychology. She was hired as orientation co-chair in the spring of her sophomore year and attended a conference focused on first-year orientation programs. The conference, she says, “Literally opened my eyes about higher education administration. I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh; people do this for a living.'”
She spoke to her advisers and realized she had already done a lot of the relevant work as an undergraduate to pursue a career in higher education administration. Among other things, Quick was a member of the senior gift committee, a resident adviser, admissions tour guide, and worked the student phonathon. She also held various jobs on campus.
“I received a phenomenal education at William Smith; it was also a really good work experience in which I learned to manage multiple tasks,” she recalls.
She joined HWS professionally in her senior year after completing her degree requirements a semester early. She was hired as Reunion coordinator and planned the Reunion Weekend that took place just a week after she graduated with her class. She then shifted into an annual fund position, which put her on an advancement track and she’s been in advancement ever since.
Quick now has spent more than two decades in higher education administration and fundraising, including as a member of the institutional advancement team at the Rochester Institute of Technology in addition to HWS and the University of Pittsburgh. She joined Pitt as a front-line major gifts officer in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and has held a number of positions of increased responsibility and scope, including management of central and unit-based development officers and staff.
“I get immense gratification when I see students on campus who I know received a scholarship for which I solicited the donor,” explains Quick. “It’s the best part of what I do- helping people make their dreams a reality through philanthropy at the institution, and helping those receiving the philanthropy make connections.”
Having earned a B.A. in psychology and religious studies cum laude from William Smith and a master of public policy and management with a specialization in non-profit management from the University of Pittsburgh, Quick is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in administrative and policy studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
“I want to explore other areas within the university,” she says, noting she’s leaning toward issues concerning board governance and shared governance, as she has done a lot of work with members of Pitt’s Board in her current role.
As someone who professionally asks people to behave philanthropically, Quick walks the walk in her own involvement with a number of community initiatives. She is past trustee and volunteer for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Western Pennsylvania-West Virginia Chapter, with which she became acquainted through a colleague who suffers from the disease.
Quick also reads to a blind individual as a volunteer with the Pittsburgh Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services. “I started doing this type of volunteer work as a student at HWS. I read in the bulletin of the Episcopal church in Geneva that a man needed someone to read to him, so I did that regularly until I left Geneva,” says Quick. When she arrived in Pittsburgh, she first helped a woman who was attending community college and needed someone to read books that weren’t available in braille.
Another community group which she is passionate about is the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. “Pittsburgh has a phenomenal food bank program that brings fresh produce into the community in a farmer’s market style,” she explains.
“It is a really gratifying experience just seeing that people – children especially – have nutrition.”
Quick is a professional member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and trustee and secretary to the Board for District II of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, as well as a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council. Additionally, she is a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences and facilitates training programs for the university, as well as advancement operations across the country.
She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh, which focuses on ethics and accountability in the public sector.
“They do some tremendous work,” says Quick, who was asked to serve on the board of the Institute after working so closely with the naming donors.
In recognition of her volunteer efforts, Quick was recognized by the University of Pittsburgh with the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence for Service to the Community.