MSU board approves appointment of Groves as vice president for university advancement

Contact: Heather Swain, Media Communications, Office: (517) 355-2262,

Nov 21, 2008

EAST LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of Robert Groves as vice president for university advancement.

The board unanimously approved the appointment at a special Nov. 21 meeting.

Groves comes to MSU from the University of Michigan, where he was associate vice president and campaign director for university development, a position he held since April 2004.

It was Groves who provided the day-to-day direction for U-M’s recent campaign, The Michigan Difference, which raised $3.1 billion and is believed to be the most successful fundraising campaign ever at a public university.

“We are more than fortunate to attract a candidate with Robert Groves’ qualifications to Michigan State,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Not only did he direct the day-to-day operations of The Michigan Difference, he also brings with him an extraordinary track record of fundraising at several Big Ten institutions. Bob has demonstrated both the vision and the operational know-how to lead fundraising efforts of great impact. Bob clearly wants MSU to be a focus in helping to define and leading the 21st-century total advancement model.

“I am particularly impressed with his astute appreciation for the values, mission and aspirations at MSU at this time in our history. He understands how to stimulate increased philanthropic investment in a public institution and he values our landgrant heritage and our world-grant destiny.”

“This is an exciting time to be joining MSU, where leadership has created tremendous momentum, as indicated by the recent private giving successes there,” Groves said. “The potential for building upon those successes is dramatic because of the quality of programs and people at this internationally renowned university. I see this as more than a great opportunity; I see it as a calling to be part of a transformative leadership team.

“I look forward to partnering with Michigan State’s alumni and friends around the world to make this great university even stronger.”

It was a year ago that MSU completed its most successful fundraising campaign. “The Campaign for MSU” raised $1.4 billion, surpassing its goal of $1.2 billion.

MSU University Advancement comprises University Development, the MSU Alumni Association, and Advancement Services.

Groves’ land-grant roots run deep. Prior to his U-M appointment he was vice president for development of the Minnesota Medical Foundation, University of Minnesota, where he directed all fundraising activities that supported the university’s two medical schools, comprehensive cancer center and School of Public Health. He held that post from April 1996 to March 2004.

Prior to that he was the executive director of university development at Pennsylvania State University. He also has held similar fundraising positions at Wright State University and The Ohio State University.

A native of Ohio, Groves earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with Distinction, in 1979 from Ohio State. His majors were agricultural education and agricultural economics. He also has conducted graduate study in agricultural education at OSU.

Groves’ MSU appointment will be effective in January 2009.