Honoring the Gift

Aug. 7, 2012

The road from being a Yuma High School "Criminal" to senior director of development for the UA College of Medicine has had many turns for Clint McCall, who recently was named to the position. McCall has been with the UA in a variety of capacities – all of them legal! – for 18 years.

Raised in Wellton, Ariz., McCall graduated from Yuma High School, "Proud Home of the Criminals."

He was sure he'd pursue a career in agriculture. Active in the Future Farmers of America during high school, he attended FFA conferences on the University campus in Tucson and knew this was where he'd go to college.

When McCall graduated from the UA in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in plant sciences, a UA associate dean told him about an opportunity to start a satellite program in Yuma. McCall took a career detour and joined the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as a program coordinator and adjunct instructor in Yuma, where he facilitated an off-campus degree program at Arizona Western College. Part of his job involved recruiting students to build the program.

A position as an admissions officer opened in 1996 in the UA Office of Undergraduate Admissions in Phoenix. There, McCall worked with more than 40 high schools in the Phoenix and Yuma areas to help students attend the UA. Years later when he was working on the UA campus in Tucson, McCall ran into one of those students.

"He was a student from Apollo High School," McCall recalled. "He'd graduated from the UA, gone on to the UA College of Medicine and become an anesthesiologist, was married and had a family. It was gratifying to see."

Little did McCall know his own career route would bring him to the College of Medicine as well.

He embarked on the road to fundraising in 2000 when he became assistant director of development with CALS, facilitating development operations for the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

After a stop with the UA Foundation, where he directed the telephone outreach program, McCall arrived in 2004 at the Sarver Heart Center, where he served as senior director of development for seven and a half years before joining the College of Medicine development office.

One of the most gratifying aspects of fundraising, McCall says, is "meeting people who have incredible stories to share." 

Many donors to the College of Medicine have been affected by a disease, or have had a family member affected, and they want to support research to help others.

McCall feels it is important for people to see what the college does with their gifts, he says. He often arranges for donors to tour laboratories and talk with researchers.

"It's an honor to show people the impact of their gift," he said. "Seeing their joy at witnessing the investment in research they and their families have made is priceless."

Philanthropy isn't about the size of a gift, but about the spirit. McCall says every day at his job, he sees the original meaning behind the Greek root for the word philanthropy: "love for mankind."

"The best part is honoring the reason behind the gift," he said.

Story courtesy of Jean Spinelli, AHSC Office of Public Affairs