Trudy Lee, assistant vice president for advancement services and planned giving in the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, was honored today with the Saint Louis Planned Giving Council’s Founders Award.
Since 2003, the Saint Louis Planned Giving Council has recognized a past or current member of the Council with the Founders Award. This “life-time achievement” award is intended to acknowledge and celebrate a member, who through leadership in the promotion and support of planned giving, best reflects the spirit of professionalism, fellowship, and community service found in the Council’s original founders. The Founders Award is the highest award offered by the Saint Louis Planned Giving Council, an organization which got its start in the 1970s to offer regular networking and educational opportunities for planned giving professionals.
Lee has been active with the organization since 2002 and has served in various capacities on the board, including a year as president.
“Trudy is the consummate professional and I am honored to work with her and call her a friend,” said Bill Holland, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. “Her reputation amongst her peers goes without saying. The honor could not go to a more deserving person.”
Lee was named to her current position with the University Foundation in December 2015. She previously served as director of planned giving for Southeast Missouri State University since December 2001 after serving as planned giving manager for the University of New Mexico for the previous six years. During her 20-year career in charitable gift planning, Lee has worked with hundreds of donors to create planned and major gifts and created vibrant planned giving programs at the universities she has served. She has also been integrally involved with a variety of other aspects of development, including advancement services and annual giving.
“I love this profession because of the amazing people I get to work with every day,” said Lee. “There are so many generous people who truly want to make a difference in the lives of others, and it is a great privilege to work with them to achieve their philanthropic goals.”
Prior to entering the field of charitable gift planning, Lee earned a Bachelor of Science in Legal Administration from the University of Evansville and worked as a paralegal in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since entering the gift planning profession, Lee has completed study at the National Planned Giving Institute, achieved her designation as a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving, received her Master’s in Public Administration from Southeast Missouri State University in 2004 and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri in 2012.
A resident of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, she is past president of the Southeast Council of Philanthropy, the Rotary Club of Cape Girardeau, and the Saint Louis Planned Giving Council. Lee and her husband, Terry, have two children and two grandchildren.