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Volume 72, Issue 102, Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Avid fundraiser dies from cancer

UH's top advancement officer from 1997 to 2003 was a ‘superb' administrator, former President Smith says

The Daily Cougar

Former UH System Vice Chancellor/UH Vice President of University Advancement Sybil Todd died Feb. 13 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 66.

Todd worked with the University from 1997 to 2003 and was responsible for the merging of the two offices she held into a single office during 1998.

Former System Chancellor/UH President Arthur K. Smith brought Todd with him when he took the presidency in 1997.

Todd served under Smith as vice president of Student Affairs at the University of Utah.

"She was a wonderful lady, a dear friend and a superb administrator," Smith said.

Before working with Smith in Utah, Todd worked at the University of Virginia for more than 20 years, where she had held the position of associate vice president of Student Affairs.

When Smith merged offices that had been between the UH System and the main campus, such as finance and academic affairs, Todd was responsible for the creation of University Advancement.

"She was very successful at University Advancement," Smith said, "but she loved Student Affairs."

When the University of Alabama offered her a position in student affairs in 1988, Todd left Houston.

"I hated to see her go,"Smith said. 

Todd had also chaired the search committee for the UH Athletics director and increased University fundraising while she was at UH.

Todd earned her master's and doctoral degrees from Arizona State University and a bachelor's degree from West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M University.

"It was very saddening that she was stricken with such a devastating illness, pancreatic cancer," Smith said. "She finally succumbed to it."

Todd is survived by her siblings and other family members. A memorial service was held in Dallas on Feb. 17.

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