The following is a letter from Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Executive Director of CSNTM.
I am reminded of the time that Paul bid his farewell to the elders of the Ephesian church (Acts 20.25–38). There were many tears and a deep sadness among the elders, then Paul and his companions finally departed.
We feel that way with Dana Cooper, CSNTM’s first-ever Development Manager. Dana is saying her goodbyes on August 20, her last day working for CSNTM. Dana has officially been with the Center for more than five years. Unofficially, she has been an integral part of the institute since it was founded in 2002. She came to the very first fundraiser, held at Troy and Janet Dungan’s home in Dallas (Troy was for many years the local weatherman on Channel 8), in which Josh McDowell and I spoke. Her enthusiasm for our mission was contagious! The following year, she organized our next fundraiser as a volunteer. The year after that, she again volunteered to get the annual fundraiser in shape, and was able to secure the funds for our first high-end camera from some good friends.
Year after year, Dana selflessly poured herself into these annual fundraisers—which were basically the only source of revenue for the fledgling Center. She continued in this role until 2009, when I asked her if she would consider joining the staff. After all, she had been functioning in that capacity for seven years without pay. It was only right that we should pay her!
When Dana joined the staff, she brought us to a whole new level. Up until 2009, CSNTM existed in my garage, closet, and living room. Dana brokered a deal with the Hope Center in Plano, which we moved into in December. We finally had offices! She started the Circle of Friends, two advisory boards (one in Dallas and one in Houston), and worked out all the logistics for fundraisers all over the country. She wrote grant requests to foundations, met with donors, and was able to raise significant funds for our expeditions. Suddenly, we were going on more than one expedition a year—thanks to Dana Cooper!
To say that Dana Cooper was our Development Manager, however, is not telling the whole story. She was in charge of all of the Center’s financial dealings—including payroll, vacation and sick-day policy, paying taxes, securing insurance, getting an accounting firm to make sure we were squeaky clean in all our financial dealings. She sent out letters to donors, increased our visibility both in Dallas and elsewhere, and was in charge of shipping and receiving. In fact, I’m not sure of all that Dana did! And all this working part-time.
Dana, for your years of faithful service we all are exceedingly grateful. Words cannot express our heartfelt appreciation for all you have accomplished. CSNTM has become the premier institute in the world for digitizing New Testament manuscripts, which we simply could not have done without you.
We love you and we will miss you. For all of us at CSNTM,
Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts