MSU fundraising efforts won't decline with Webb's departure


MSU’s chief fundraiser, Charles Webb, will be leaving the university in April, but fundraising efforts shouldn’t lose momentum, university officials said.

MSU spokesman Terry Denbow said the structure of MSU’s University Development team is strong, largely because of the example set by Webb.

“He has prepared that staff and has paved the way for the future, both at MSU and Spring Arbor,” Denbow said.

University development quick facts

Charles Webb will be leaving in April, no replacement has been announced.

University development completed an eight-year, $1.4 billion fundraising campaign in October, $200 million more than its $1.2 billion goal.

MSU officials said university development is growing rapidly and operates within the individual colleges, athletics department and across the United States.

source: MSU University development

Webb, vice president for university development, was named Spring Arbor University’s 29th president Saturday. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon will consider options as to who will replace Webb.

Denbow said University Development, which controls private fundraising for the university, is becoming increasingly important as state funds decrease.

“If any institution was looking for a chief development officer, (Webb) would have been on the list,” he said. “More and more presidents are being hired because of their track record in private fundraising.”

Webb led a $1.4 billion, eight-year fundraising campaign by University Development that ended in October and raised more than $200 million more than the goals set by MSU.

“There’s a lot of people (with University Development),” Denbow said. “They have people in the colleges, they have people in athletics, they have people that deal with major gifts, regional gifts.

“(Webb) was an excellent leader of the staff. He also had a sense of where the dollars are. He’ll be missed,” he said.

Webb said his fundraising experience, as well as his interaction with colleagues and students, will aid him in his transition to president of Spring Arbor.

“I’m very indebted to MSU,” he said, adding that leaving MSU was bittersweet.

“It’s always very difficult to leave a place you truly love, admire and respect,” he said. “I had no reason to leave (MSU) It just seemed like a new opportunity with new challenges.”

Simon said in a statement that Webb’s hiring was a great choice.

“Spring Arbor’s next president is a man of integrity and a leader with many talents,” she said. “His record at MSU has been outstanding, advancing private giving and alumni relations with nationally renowned and honored programs.”

Webb spent 32 years at MSU, first as a graduate student and then as an administrator. He was an MSU officer for 26 years and had been vice president for university development for 13 years.

Webb received his bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor, a Christian liberal arts school in Spring Arbor, Mich., which factored into his decision to leave MSU.

He said leading Spring Arbor, which recently exceeded 4,000 students, will be different than leading MSU.

“Our goal will be to become a leading Christian liberal arts university, not a national or global university,” he said.

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