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Lester named director of major grants

January 6, 2016
By cnp
Posted in Giving

Rebecca Lester has been named the new director of major grants at University of the Ozarks.

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Rebecca Lester has been named as the director of major grants at U of O.

Lester, who took over her new duties in December, has more than 20 years of experience in fund-raising, grant writing, public relations, organizational development and strategic planning. She most recently served as chief administrator at Clarksville Medical Group and before that was the chief financial officer and public relations director for the City of Chanute, Kan., from 2010-2014.

Lester also served several positions at her alma mater, Kansas State University, from 2000-2010, including program coordinator for the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program and assistant director for the Kansas Center for Rural Initiatives.  From 2000-2003, she coordinated the "Kansas Service-Learning Consortium" grant program funded by the Corporation for National & Community Service, connecting higher education courses with meeting critical community needs.

"I’m thrilled to be part of University of the Ozarks," Lester said. "There are many opportunities for those who are willing to work together and think creatively.  I look forward to joining such dedicated, engaged, and accomplished faculty, students, and staff in building support for the future."

Lester earned an MBA and her undergraduate degree in anthropology from K-State.  In 2015 she was named Administrator of the Year by the State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company and the Arkansas Medical Group Management Association. Throughout her professional career, she has written and administered more than $10 million in higher education and community grants.

As director of major grants, Lester will be a part of the Advancement program and will lead efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit and maintain foundation and corporate support for the university.  She takes over for Mike Smith, who retired in the fall.