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Woodie T. White, PhD

Woodie T. White, Ph.D., prominent Chicago executive and former Vice President, Mid-West Region Field Operations of the United Negro College Fund, age 66, died at 12:50 AM, Monday, August 12 at Warren Barr Pavilion following a long illiness. Woodie was born on November 13, 1946 in Washington, D.C., the son of the late Woodie T. White, Jr. and Anne Taylor White. He leaves behind his beloved son, Woodie, III of Los Angeles, his mother Anne White of Chicago, his brother and sister-in-law Frank and Linda White of Florida, nieces Arin, Lindsey and Whitney, his former wife Bunny Fisher and a host of dear friends and colleagues.
Woodie was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in 1969. He went on to study at Harvard University Divinity School from 1969 to 1970. He received a Masters degree in History also at the University of Chicago in 1972 followed by a doctorate degree in American History also at the University of Chicago in 1977.
Woodie had a stunning professional career beginning with his appointment as Assistant Dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Upon leaving the University Woodie was appointed Executive Director of the Madison Festival of the Lakes in Madison, WI. Initially a volunteer for the festival, he eventually became a visionary, linking the festival to the economic development of Madison and mounting a substantial $1 million per year fundraising campaign. In 1990, Woodie returned to Chicago to become Executive Director of the Dance Center of Columbia College where he successfully increased contributions from $250,000 per year to over $2 million per year. He quadrupled the audience size of the Center, substantially raised the Center's visibility and produced the country's largest, most celebrated festival of African Dance, "Dance Africa," one of Chicago's most popular annual events. Because of his fundraising acumen Woodie was soon given the nod as Director of Development, Columbia College Chicago where he developed new strategies for fundraising, established the "President's Club" and aggressively established an active alumni program along with an alumni board.
Based on the success of his work in fundraising the College promoted Woodie to Vice President of Office of Institutional Advancement where he served from 1995-2003 and grew donor contributions from $1.7 million to $12.2 million in the year 2000. In 2003, Woodie was appointed Vice President, Midwest Region of Field Operations at the United College Fund (UNCF) where he worked until his retirement in 2007.

Throughout his career Woodie had various civic and professional affiliations including serving as a Member of the Board of the Illinois Arts Alliance and acting as its President from 1991-2001; member of the Board of Directors, Chicago Cultural Alliance; Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Board of Directors; Dance COLECtive, Board of Directors; by Mayoral appointment Chicago Visitors & Tourism Bureau, Executive Committee; Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Board of Directors; Arts Midwest, Board of Directors; the Governor's Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes; Illinois Attorney General's Advisory Council, Charitable Giving; member Dance for Life, and many others.

Generous of spirit and heart, lover of dance and the arts, a devote of SouthSide bar-b-q ribs, mentor, confidant, friend and devoted father, Woodie was an inspiration and a source of constant support to all who knew and worked with him, his family, loved ones and friends.He shall be greatly missed.