The UConn Foundation has appointed Jake Lemon as its new president and chief executive officer. Lemon has served as senior vice president for development since 2016 raising support for the University of Connecticut, including all campuses, its Division of Athletics, and UConn Health.
“I believe in the power of public higher education to change lives and solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. It’s an honor to serve UConn as an institution that advances social mobility, fosters groundbreaking research, and serves as an economic engine for Connecticut—a state that my family and I have grown to love. The opportunity to lead the UConn Foundation is an honor and a privilege,” Lemon says.
Before joining the UConn Foundation, Lemon was a leader and fundraiser at the Florida State University Foundation for seven years, where he was elevated to assistant vice president for development and principal gifts. Lemon led planned giving, regional development, and created the principal gift department during FSU’s $1 billion capital campaign. Lemon held major gifts positions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he specialized in athletics development; and the University of Mississippi, where he led fundraising for its pharmacy school.
“The UConn Foundation Board of Directors is very pleased to have Jake Lemon as our new president and CEO. Having joined us from Florida State, Jake has been passionate in leading the development organization to become a high-performing team, dramatically supporting the growth in our donations over the last five years,” says Melinda Brown ’77 (BUS), ’85 MBA, chair of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors. “Jake bleeds blue. He is an exceptional leader and a loyal member of UConn Nation and the university we serve.”
During Lemon’s tenure, the UConn Foundation has closed its three highest fundraising years on record, including 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021, the UConn Foundation raised $93.3 million, including $28.5 million for student scholarships and fellowships.
In addition to fundraising and staff management responsibilities, Lemon has worked closely with the foundation’s Board of Directors, managing the board’s development committee.
“Jake is a highly effective leader and respected colleague here at UConn and we are very pleased that he has been selected to lead the UConn Foundation,” says Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, interim president of UConn and CEO of UConn Health. “He has a deep appreciation for our mission and the essential role philanthropy plays in making a difference in the lives of our students, the work of our faculty, and the future of our university. I am looking forward to working closely with him in his new role.”
Lemon earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from the University of Mississippi. He holds a certificate in financial planning from Florida State University.