Richard Trollinger


Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Distinguished Alumni Award (2016)


Trollinger completed a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in 2002. He earned a bachelor's degree at Emory and Henry College, a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Kentucky.

He has dedicated more than 40 years to educational fundraising. He served in several roles at Emory and Henry College, including vice president for development and external affairs where he is credited with improving Emory and Henry College's alumni giving from $53,000 in 1974 to more than $1 million in 1993. He was also an admissions counselor, director of alumni affairs and the first director of development at his alma mater.

Serving as Vice President for College Relations at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, Trollinger has positioned the College as one of the nation's leaders in philanthropic giving. In a recent campaign, Centre exceeded its initial fundraising goal of $120 million by more than $49 million. Gifts and pledges during this For a More Perfect Centre campaign ultimately totaled $169,374,192 at its 2007 completion. Moreover, his efforts produced an overall alumni participation rate of an impressive 49 percent, one of the highest giving percentages in the country.

As co-author of Philanthropy and American Higher Education, Trollinger describes how philanthropic support of higher education is integral to the character of colleges and universities.

Trollinger currently chairs the board of directors for the Danville-Boyle Economic Development Partnership in Kentucky. He also served as a board member and chair of the Kentucky School for the Deaf Charitable Foundation.