Lydia Allen, Secretary

Associate Development Director - KU Endowment

Lydia Allen is the Advancement Board Director at KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit fundraising foundation of the University of Kansas. In this role, Lydia engages Kansas City-area business and civic leaders in enhancing and promoting the work of Kansas’s only academic medical center, housed at the University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Health System. Previously at KU Endowment, Lydia worked on behalf of the KU School of Medicine, securing principal and major gifts to support scholarships, professorships, and ground-breaking research.

Lydia grew up in Hays and Lenexa, Kansas. After graduating from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, she attended Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. There, she earned her bachelor’s degree in arts administration with a concentration in music. Throughout her collegiate career, she performed with the Butler Wind Ensemble and Butler Symphony Orchestra as a French horn player. After graduation, she continued to perform with the wind octet Play Ethic in Indianapolis while working in the Development Department of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

In 2014, Lydia returned to the Kansas City area, where she led fundraising efforts for the ArtsKC Fund, Kansas City’s federated arts granting program, and oversaw individual and leadership gifts at ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council. For the past five years, she has continued her musical avocation, playing French horn with the Medical Arts Symphony, a volunteer orchestra housed at the KU Medical Center campus.

As “the new kid” in middle school who found her place among the band nerds and choir kids, Lydia knows firsthand the importance of musical communities in kids’ lives, especially at the pivotal times when they’re looking for belonging among their peers. Youth Symphony of Kansas City provides that space for young adults to grow into their full potential and find their place of belonging. Lydia is proud to support the great work of this organization as a Board member.

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