Three development, alumni relations VP candidates to visit campus

Contact: Jeanne Baron

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Three final candidates for the position of vice president for development and alumni relations and executive director of the Western Michigan University Foundation will visit campus in coming weeks.

Each candidate will spend two days touring WMU and the Kalamazoo community, and meeting with a variety of University leaders, students and community members. In addition, all of the candidates will make a public presentation and address audience questions.

The three final candidates and their presentation times, dates and locations are:

Lance E. Burchett, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Bernhard Center's North Ballroom.

Kristen R. DeVries, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, in the Bernhard Center's North Ballroom.

Allan Cooper Jones, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, in the Bernhard Center's North Ballroom.

Lance E. Burchett

Headshot, Lance E. Burchett.

Lance E. Burchett

Burchett has been vice chancellor for institutional advancement at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and executive director of the UAMS Foundation Fund since 2011. He serves as chief development officer, is responsible for a $6 million annual budget, and supervises the offices responsible for development, foundation administration, alumni and constituent relations, special events, and advancement services.

During Burchett's tenure, the university has increased total annual fundraising from $18 million to $37 million while decreasing the cost to raise one dollar from 20 cents to 15 cents. In addition, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy recognized UAMS as one of only 11 institutions internationally to earn the "AHP Top Performer Award" in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Previously, Burchett has been vice president for advancement at Ringling College of Art and Design, vice president for university advancement at Northwest Missouri State University and chief executive officer of the Northwest Foundation, executive director of the San Diego State University Alumni Association, and associate executive director of the University of Arkansas Alumni Association.

Kristen R. DeVries

Headshot, Kristen R. DeVries.

Kristen R. DeVries

DeVries has been vice president of university advancement at Lawrence Technological University since 2016. She oversees all fundraising, alumni engagement and community relations activities.

During her tenure, philanthropic revenue increased by 20 percent, reversing a two-year trend of declining gifts, and the departmental operating budget decreased. In addition, the number of individual donors increased by 10 percent, social media engagement increased tenfold, and new technologies such as text to give and crowdfunding were implemented.

Previously, DeVries has been senior associate vice president for strategic engagement and advancement operations at Drexel University; associate director of relationship management, operations and performance improvement at the University of North Texas; and an administrator in fundraising-related posts at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, National Jewish Medical & Research Center, and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Allan Cooper Jones

Headshot, Allan Cooper Jones.

Allan Cooper Jones

Jones has been president and chief executive officer of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame since 2016. He provides executive leadership and oversight for the museum's annual budget, fundraising and development, operations and facility management, public relations and external communications, staffing, risk management, educational outreach, and public programming.

During his career, Jones has worked on three separate billion-dollar university capital campaigns. His background includes particular strengths in large-scale capital campaigns, alumni engagement, corporate and foundation relations, and planned giving.

Previously, he has been executive associate athletic director at Arizona State University, senior associate athletic director at the University of North Texas, assistant athletic director for development at the University of Louisville, director of major gifts at the University of Maryland, and development officer at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Additional information

The successful candidate for WMU's vice president for development and alumni relations will provide strategic leadership and oversight of the University's fundraising efforts, alumni engagement and foundation enterprise. The position reports to the University's president and Foundation Board of Directors.

To learn more about the position and candidates, visit the search website. Feedback will be collected on that site through an online survey.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.