Stover has served on the campus’ senior leadership team overseeing fundraising activities, communications, marketing and foundational goals since March 2012.
“I am happy for Dennis, as he will have time to relax and pursue other interests, but I am very sad to see him go,” Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said in an email announcement to faculty and staff Monday. “Dennis has been with USFSM for four and a half years, and in that time has made a significant impact on our institution.”
A nationwide search to replace Stover will begin in July.
Altogether, he has served more than 30 years in executive leadership roles at nonprofit organizations and foundations at local, state and national levels. Yet his work at USF Sarasota-Manatee became the summit of his career.
Often alone or with partner Phil King at his side, Stover became a fixture on the Sarasota-Manatee social circuit as part of an effort to raise awareness about USFSM and secure donations for its academic programs and scholarship funds. On any given night, he could be seen at social functions greeting donors and thanking campus supporters.
Among his array of accomplishments, he played a pivotal role in securing the largest gift ever for the campus when in October 2013 he worked with Tampa businessman John McKibbon III’s JB McKibbon Foundation to secure more than $2 million for USFSM’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.
The donation enabled the college to establish the M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation and to elevate the McKibbon Hotel Management Endowed Professorship to the McKibbon Hotel Management Endowed Chair.
Stover’s list of accomplishments goes on: He worked to grow the campus’ endowed funds to $9.2 million from $5.7 million; raised private funds to open USFSM’s teaching labs at Mote Marine Laboratory; secured scholarship money to cover unmet tuition needs for the campus’ inaugural freshman class; and raised funds to establish the Culinary Innovation Lab at Lakewood Ranch.
Stover said he plans to remain in the area after a visit to Indiana, where he grew up and attended school. An educator, Stover graduated with a B.S. in education and an M.S. in education administration, both from Indiana University. He moved to Sarasota in 2002.
“Being a people person, this job was an outstanding fit for my personality,” he said. “I will miss the deep friendships I have made with the donors, alums and staff, but I am thankful to retire with good health.”