The Executive Committee of the MSU Foundation Board of Directors reviewed the search committee's recommendation late last week and voted unanimously to offer the position to Stevenson, according to Reynolds. Stevenson accepted later that day.
"Michael has energized the staff at the foundation and has demonstrated an incredible ability to inspire others," Reynolds said. "We are excited to continue to build on the momentum of recent successes such as Athletics' End Zone Campaign and Jake Jabs' $3 million gift to the College of Business."
"Needless to say, I am honored," Stevenson said. "We have built a remarkable team these past few years, and with President Cruzado's inspired vision for the university, we are achieving an unprecedented level of success. This is just the beginning, and I am excited to lead this effort."
Stevenson has a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics and a master's degree in international studies from Oklahoma State University, a land-grant institution. He grew up on his family's cattle ranch in Hobson and began his career as a small business owner in Lewistown. After serving as a national officer to the National FFA Organization and completing his education, Stevenson began his fundraising career at the School of International Studies at Oklahoma State University. He has raised money for higher education, the performing arts and several youth development programs.
Stevenson came to MSU in 2006, as a development consultant and campaign director for the MSU Athletics Department. He joined the foundation in 2007, and served as the head of the major gift office until August 2010, when he was named interim president and CEO by the foundation board of directors.
"I am pleased with the selection of Michael Stevenson to head the MSU Foundation," said MSU President Waded Cruzado. "He is well-respected on campus, his development experience and familiarity with the state of Montana and our university is matched only by his dedication and drive to help elevate MSU to even greater heights."
Reynolds said the executive committee was pleased with the high caliber of the candidates.
"The search committee did a remarkable job. The executive committee would like to extend its thanks to Barry Remely, chair, and all the members of the search committee for their diligence."
Among Stevenson's strengths that were noted in the search committee's recommendation were his success in development, his robust relationships with staff, donors, campus- and state-wide constituents, his passion for the work he is doing and his connection to the state of Montana.
Stevenson was selected from a pool of 36 candidates who applied for the position, and he was one of three finalists who visited the MSU campus earlier this month. In addition to Stevenson, the other finalists were: Floyd Harmon, vice president and Chief Operating Officer at Hoag Hospital Foundation in Newport Beach, Calif. and Harold (Jay) Vogelsang, assistant chair, Department of Development at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Stevenson succeeds Connie Carmack, who resigned earlier this year to assume the position of Vice President for Advancement at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Penn. A search will begin immediately to fill Stevenson's prior role as assistant vice president for development.
For more information, contact the MSU Foundation at (406) 994-2053.
Phillip Luebke (406) 994-2416, firstname.lastname@example.org