Appointment of Rutgers University Foundation President
August 26, 2013
Members of the Rutgers Community:
I am pleased to announce that Nevin E. Kessler, a fundraising leader with a record of success at several major research universities, has been appointed President of the Rutgers University Foundation and Executive Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. He will begin his tenure at Rutgers on October 14, 2013.
Mr. Kessler is currently Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and President of the North Carolina State University Foundation, an organization with 200 employees and a $14 million annual budget. Under Mr. Kessler’s leadership, the foundation launched an ambitious $1.5 billion capital campaign, and in the 2012-13 fiscal year alone—the third consecutive record-breaking year for foundational giving at North Carolina State—the foundation raised $198 million in gifts and pledges, a 78 percent increase over the previous year. He also helped secure the largest private gift in the school’s history, a $40 million donation to endow the university’s College of Management.
Previously, Mr. Kessler held positions at the Yale School of Management, the University of Connecticut, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania. In each of his senior leadership positions, Mr. Kessler continually surpassed fundraising records. For example, while he was Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations at the Yale School of Management, the school increased gifts and pledges from just over $4 million in 2003 to nearly $33 million just three years later.
Mr. Kessler understands the urgency of Rutgers’ effort to reach the $1 billion mark set for our current fundraising campaign, Our Rutgers, Our Future, which stands at nearly $800 million, and he will plan and lead the university’s next fundraising initiative. His long history of fundraising success will help us generate higher participation rates among alumni, which is vital in establishing a strong endowment and a culture of giving.
I want to thank the search committee—led by Dick Edwards, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Brian Perkins, chair of the Rutgers University Foundation Board of Overseers—for delivering an outstanding group of finalists for this position, which is so critical in helping us achieve our boldest ambitions for Rutgers. I especially want to thank the former chair of the Board of Overseers, Ron Wilson, who has been providing steadfast leadership as acting President of the Rutgers University Foundation since July 1.
Please join me in welcoming Nevin Kessler to the Rutgers community.
Robert L. Barchi