The National Association of Athletic Development Directors is honoring Brian Crockett, a 1977 graduate of Verona High School, with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Crockett who played football at VHS before going on to letter with Rutgers University football, went into sales with Xerox and Digital Equipment Corporation after his college graduation. But he returned to Rutgers in 1993 to coordinate development activities for Rutgers’ 30 sports programs, the start of a long, productive career in athletic development.
At Rutgers, Crockett introduced many innovations in cultivation, fundraising, and stewardship that, taken together, promoted a dramatic increase in annual giving. He also secured numerous capital campaign gifts that altered the university’s landscape, including the expansion of the Rutgers Stadium and football complex. He created and raised money for scholarships, program improvements, and facility upgrades. In 2002, the president of the Rutgers University Foundation asked Crockett to take on the additional duty of managing the major gifts and development activity for five Rutgers art institutions and professional and graduate schools. He then became the foundation’s vice president for external programs, where he implemented a comprehensive strategic plan for fundraising, alumni relations, regional programs, and athletic development; coordinated fundraising efforts directed at Rutgers’ 480,000 alumni.
In 2007, Crockett became the first non-alumni and first African American to serve on West Point’s Association of Graduates, where he laid the groundwork for a $350 million capital campaign. In 2009, he was named CEO of the VMI Foundation, which supports the Virginia Military Institute, the nation’s oldest state-supported military college. Again, he was the first non-alumni and first African American to hold the position.
You can read more about Crockett’s Verona history and achievements in a profile on Rutgers’ website.