I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Nic Katona as the Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement. Mr. Katona’s leadership will advance our It’s Time work as a champion for the institution who will cultivate our relationships with donors, alumni, and friends of the University in the region and beyond. His experience will most certainly inform a strategy that will showcase our distinctive qualities and leverage relationships to boldly shape the future of the University.
Offering an excellent portfolio of experience, Mr. Katona has held several advancement leadership roles in higher education institutions in the United States and abroad. Leading higher education teams in England for the past eight years, Mr. Katona brings a global perspective to fundraising. As the Vice President at both Birkbeck, a College of the University of London system, and the University of Leicester, he built institutional processes to help develop an environment of collaboration and support for giving and alumni engagement.
At Birkbeck, he successfully launched the College’s first fundraising and engagement campaign, and to date raised more than 34.5-million-pounds (approximately $42.5 million). At the University of Leicester, Mr. Katona oversaw the development and management of the Philanthropy Advisory Board and implemented a strategic shift towards a mission-centric approach to fundraising, ensuring that gifts met University needs and were budget-relieving. He also developed the strategy for the University’s next campaign, projected at 75-million-pounds (approximately $92.5 million). At Imperial College of London, where he served as Head of Development for Engineering, he coordinated and secured more than $17-million-pounds (approximately $21 million).
Prior to his work in England, Mr. Katona worked in a variety of US organizations and higher education institutions, including senior roles with the John G. Shedd Aquarium, After School Matters and The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, all located in Chicago. Prior to this, he served the University of California-San Diego, where he supported Engineering and established a strategic fundraising plan for the LGBT Resource Center. While at the University of Michigan, he developed and launched a new reunion program that increased reunion giving by $38 million dollars. At George Washington University and Valparaiso University, Mr. Katona increased annual giving and young alumni giving by an average of 38%.
I also want to thank Dr. Jason Woods and members of the search committee who dedicated their time and effort to build an excellent candidate pool of outstanding candidates to introduce to our campus community. I appreciate the consideration each committee member put into the process, and my thanks to the many members of the campus community who provided valuable feedback along the way through Zoom and in-person interactions.
Please join me in welcoming Nic to St. Cloud State University! His leadership will begin on August 15, 2022.