Jeromie Tucker attended Oklahoma State University, where he played football and completed his degree. Jeromie has been in the recruiting industry for about twelve years and has recently transitioned into a development role within the advancement industry. Tucker, currently serves Oklahoma State University, as Associate Director of Development (Spears School of Business and Institutional Diversity). Tucker is new to the industry and quickly learning to use his transferrable skills from recruiting and management background to better serve as a viable fundraising professional. In his current role, he supports the fundraising efforts for both Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, as well as, Spears School of Business.
In his free time, he loves to spend it with family and friends, while enjoying sports. He also enjoys new experiences along with meeting new people.
Tucker holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Business Administration (concentration in Management) from Oklahoma State University. He hopes to soon pursue his Certified Fundraising Executive Certification (CFRE) upon completing his transition into the industry.
Jeromie’s interview was conducted by AADO member Atira Rochester.
What motivated you to become a development professional?
Jeromie’s entry into development was a circumstance of the right opportunity at the right time. He had connected with a friend and former Oklahoma State University (OSU) football teammate, who happened to work for the OSU Foundation. Fast forward a year later, and Jeromie had transitioned from his previous role as a professional recruiter, into his current position as Associate Director of Development for the Spears School of Business and Institutional Diversity. In Jeromie’s short time there so far, he has grown organically within the field, recognizing the art and science of development, and realizing he can make a career out of it.
What is the best advice that you have received related to your career?
The best advice that Jeromie has received is to be authentic and adjust when you need to. You also have many meaningful conversations and need to be an active and adaptive listener. You need to strategically ask questions things to get the right answer. Lastly, do the work – that has a lot to do with the success of any development officer. You can have all the attributes, but you must do the work.
What is unique about fundraising for institutional diversity?
Jeromie’s experience in raising funds for programs and endowed scholarships is that a lot of diverse prospects are not as well-informed to all the different ways you can give. For many, this is their first major gift of any sort, unlike those who are exposed to it while growing up. Jeromie feels that getting diverse prospects to the point of being more committed to a gift has some challenges in that while diverse donors have great capacity and affinity, there is a learning curve in defining major gifts and the impact of a gift. Lastly, in Jeromie’s role at OSU as with many campuses, there is the underlying challenge of managing the healing process for older diverse alumni who aren’t as deeply connected to the university.
What inspires you about the development profession?
Jeromie finds inspiration in impacting young, diverse individuals who are not always aware of what is out there in terms of resources. He can impact their thoughts on the college path and professional careers. Jeromie’s ability to see the fundraising world at his level is eye-opening, and he has gained a better understanding of the impact of private funding, especially on students.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a fundraiser?
Jeromie encourages future fundraisers to be authentic and understand their prospects, learning what their affinity is. One must also understand relationships – from building to maintaining. One of Jeromie’s transferrable skills from being a recruiter is knowing how to follow up and stay in touch with people, just a simple email or call can lead to future success.