An Interview With 2006 ASHFoundation President Dennis Hampton Q: How do you sum up the contributions of the ASHFoundation’s first 60 years? Hampton: The ASHFoundation has stayed true to its original mission of advancing the knowledge base of the professions, which it has accomplished through scholarship and research grants as well as clinical and special projects. Our continued ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   December 01, 2006
An Interview With 2006 ASHFoundation President Dennis Hampton
Author Notes
  • Ellen Uffen, is the former managing editor, features, of The ASHA Leader.
    Ellen Uffen, is the former managing editor, features, of The ASHA Leader.×
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ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   December 01, 2006
An Interview With 2006 ASHFoundation President Dennis Hampton
The ASHA Leader, December 2006, Vol. 11, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.11172006.22
The ASHA Leader, December 2006, Vol. 11, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.11172006.22
Q: How do you sum up the contributions of the ASHFoundation’s first 60 years?
Hampton: The ASHFoundation has stayed true to its original mission of advancing the knowledge base of the professions, which it has accomplished through scholarship and research grants as well as clinical and special projects.
Our continued focus on this goal—and the targeted expansion of our highly successful fundraising efforts—have allowed us to significantly increase the size and number of our programs. We have the distinction of being the largest foundation directly focused on communication sciences and disorders.
For 60 years we have been a catalyst—at critical times in our field’s history, the ASHFoundation has stepped forward to address emerging needs and stimulate innovative solutions. Examples include our creative technology partnerships and conferences in the 1980s, followed by the landmark symposia on treatment efficacy and research mentorship, and more recently, the doctoral shortage initiative of our New Century Scholars program.
Q: How would you like the ASHFoundation to grow over the next 60 years?
Hampton: Sixty years from now I hope we will have built momentum for a significant general endowment, unrestricted in time and purpose, that will allow us to be flexible and far-reaching as critical issues emerge. These resources are a must if the ASHFoundation is to move forward. Also I would like to see ASHA members and other friends consider the ASHFoundation in their legacy planning—we believe planned giving can be a cornerstone of the ASHFoundation’s vitality well into the future.
Many people have given a great deal of their time and energy, as well as financial support, over the past 60 years to strengthen the ASHFoundation. The challenge for us, and those who follow us, is to be as successful as the foundation’s pioneers. We are the ones—clinicians, educators, scientists, and others in our field—who need to ensure that the ASHFoundation remains an important source of support for scholarship and research.
There is tremendous potential for growth. We’ve already awarded more than $3.5 million to more than 2,000 students and researchers, and we continue to award nearly $200,000 every year. But we can do better. For example, if all members of ASHA checked off “Foundation donation” in their dues statement for the next two years, we could double the amount of annual scholarship awards.
We’re also working to increase awareness of the Wendell Johnson Society, whose members haveincluded the Foundation in their estate planning. Through this group, those who have devoted their careers to helping individuals with communication disorders can make a permanent, ongoing contribution— even after retirement.
We also need to expand our relationships with the business community. Almost every company or corporation has some connection to communication and communication disorders, if not in its work per se, then in the lives of its employees. We need to do a better job of reaching these companies.
I’d say we have plenty to keep us busy for the next 60 years!
Q: The ASHFoundation’s first capital campaign, Dreams and Possibilities, has so far raised nearly $2 million. Do you envision a follow-up campaign or another broad-based form of fundraising?
Hampton: The success of the Dreams and Possibilities campaign allowed us to confront the doctoral shortage and foster innovative research through bold new initiatives; to address our critical priorities in a very tangible way; and to empower a cadre of research—based professionals who will strengthen and broaden the impact of the ASHFoundation’s contributions on people living with speech, language, and hearing disorders.
The Dreams and Possibilities campaign also led to the launch of the New Century Scholars program, through which we confer $10,000 doctoral-level scholarships and research grants each year. As we realize more money, more people are funded.
We want to be the first place that high-caliber students and researchers in communication sciences and disorders turn to for help. That’s why we need to continuously build our donor base.
Much remains to be done. We expect more broad-based campaigns in our future. We will redouble our efforts to advance excellence and innovation and inspire others to keep our field vital through their donations.
Q: How do you view your experiences during this 60th anniversary year?
Hampton: During this year all of us on the ASHFoundation Board have looked back and thought about the many people who have contributed so much, and the many students, researchers, and ultimately, individuals with communication disorders, who have benefited from that work. To have been a part of that history is very rewarding.
This year I’ve seen the contributions of people outside the ASHFoundation, such as the reviewers who volunteer their time as part of the grants and awards process, and the individuals and groups who support our various fundraising efforts. And it is exciting to meet the awardees during the ASHA Convention at the ASHFoundation breakfast and hear how the foundation’s support can influence a clinician’s or researcher’s career.
Finally, it’s impressive to see the dedication of the ASHFoundation’s staff and to work with the trustees who volunteer time, energy, and expertise to give something important back to their profession. Ours is important work and it has been gratifying to be a part of it. Ellen Uffen is the former managing editor, features, of The ASHA Leader.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
December 2006
Volume 11, Issue 17