Montana State University

Michael Stevenson leaves behind strong legacy as president and CEO of Montana State University Alumni Foundation

January 10, 2014 -- MSU Alumni Foundation


Michael Stevenson. MSU Photo by Kelly Gorham.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Montana State University Alumni Foundation President and CEO, Michael Stevenson, announced today that he is stepping down from his post after serving with the organization’s leadership team since 2007. Since 2010, Stevenson has led the private fundraising and alumni relations organization through a period of significant transition, growth and success.

Kathleen “Kitty” Saylor, the MSU Alumni Foundation’s chief operating officer, will serve as interim president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 11, retaining her duties as COO during this transition. A national search for a new president and CEO will begin immediately. The president and CEO of the MSU Alumni Foundation is hired by and reports directly to its independent board of governors.

“Together, Montana State University and the Alumni Foundation owe Michael a great debt for his service. He will be missed and we wish him only the best for the future. Through his leadership, and in partnership with President Cruzado, we’ve crafted a clear vision for where we’re headed and for how Montana State can best be supported,” said Mike Ferris, chairman of the MSU Alumni Foundation’s board of governors.

“Michael has decided to leave us in pursuit of new opportunities, but he has brought an outstanding team together and we’re on the right track. We look forward to staying the course toward success for our university,” Ferris said.

“Michael leaves a strong and lasting legacy for Montana State University and the Alumni Foundation, and we truly appreciate all he has done for MSU’s students, faculty and the communities we aim to serve,” said Waded Cruzado, president of MSU. “Thanks to Michael and the team he has built around him, we’re a stronger university today, with a more dedicated and well-connected base of alumni and friends than at any point in our history.”

During his time as president and CEO, Stevenson guided significant transformation, growth and success at the MSU Alumni Foundation:

  • Since 2007, under his leadership, the Alumni Foundation has raised more than $100 million in support of the university, and the net assets of the Alumni Foundation have grown from $118 million to more than $185 million.
  • In 2010, together with President Cruzado, he and his team successfully led a campaign to expand Bobcat Stadium in an unprecedented 120 days.
  • In 2011, he helped to secure the largest private gift in the history of the Montana University System, $25 million from alumnus Jake Jabs, and successfully launched the Student Ambassadors program, which provides internships and early career development opportunities in the alumni relations and fundraising fields.
  • In 2012, he and the Alumni Foundation’s leadership team:
    • formally established the MSU Innovation Campus as a new 501c3
    • oversaw the effective merger of the Alumni Association and the MSU Foundation, creating the now unified Alumni Foundation from what had been two separate and distinct organizations pursuing similar aims
    • facilitated the development and implementation of a comprehensive, five-year strategic plan, fully aligned to MSU’s Mountains and Minds: Learners & Leaders strategic plan, and
  • In 2013, he and the Alumni Foundation launched new alumni focused programs, including a major membership campaign, a nationwide network of alumni association chapters, an alumni-student mentoring program, and an expanded student alumni association.  

About the Montana State University Alumni Foundation: The Montana State University Alumni Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) or private nonprofit corporation with three subsidiary entities that serve one mission: "We create lifelong relationships and strengthen our resources to advance Montana State University." The MSU Alumni Association is a membership body that keeps graduates and friends of our University connected to one another and to their Alma Mater. The MSU Foundation raises significant private financial support and serves as the steward for more than $185 million dollars in invested resources from many generous donors. The MSU Innovation Campus offers powerful opportunities for partners to invest in a creative, entrepreneurial environment that offers state-of-the-art facilities, supports start-up companies, and provides students with hands-on learning experiences that can result in employment opportunities upon graduation.

Contact: Jason Smith, Chief Relations Officer, 406-570-6066 or jason.smith@msuaf.org