|James J. Rhatigan|
The Wichita chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized James J. Rhatigan for his contributions to his community and beyond by bestowing on him its Distinctive Community Service Award.
The award was presented Nov. 12 at a luncheon attended by about 300 people as part of the organization's National Philanthropy Day events at the Hyatt Regency Wichita.
"I value the idea of community, so to receive an award that recognizes the importance of community is greatly appreciated," said Rhatigan, consultant for the WSU Foundation. "I'm fortunate to have a job I find rewarding, one that keeps me engaged while finding resources for others."
Rhatigan has worked the past 11 years as a fundraiser and consultant for the WSU Foundation. Previous to that, he served for 31 years as WSU vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and six years as senior vice president.
Among his achievements are raising in excess of $15 million for Wichita State, through his own fundraising initiatives or assisting other fundraisers, and serving on the boards of several community organizations, including the Midway Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross, United Methodist Urban Ministry, Senior Services, KPTS Channel 8 and United Way of the Plains. He also helped raise $1.2 million for his church, University Congregational Church.
Rhatigan was selected for the award not only for his successful record in helping to raise money, but also for his commitment to two guiding principles. They are, in his own words, an "ethic of caring" for others and a belief that the "small wins" in one's life do as much good — or more — than the most heroic feats people dream about.
"This is such a fitting award for a man who has always placed community above himself, whether it's a community of students, this university, this state, his church, or his colleagues," said Elizabeth King, president and CEO of the WSU Foundation. "His influence and mentoring have touched the lives of hundreds of people who are making a meaningful difference in our world."