Published: Sept. 10, 2018

Heil returns to MSU as new leader for University Advancement

Contact(s): Emily Guerrant University Spokesperson office: 517-355-6560

Having served in university advancement for nearly 40 years, including 30 years previously at Michigan State University, Marti Heil is returning to MSU as the new vice president for University Advancement, Executive Vice President Kathleen Wilbur announced.

Born and raised in Lansing and a 1976 graduate of MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in advertising, Heil worked in various roles of advancement and development at the university from 1980-2009, including the last year as interim vice president of development. Wilbur said Heil’s extensive development background and her familiarity with Spartan fundraising made her a natural choice to fill the role that current Vice President for University Advancement Bob Groves is leaving this fall.

“We are very fortunate to have Marti back with us in the Spartan family,” said Wilbur, who oversees advancement, communications and government relations. “She has had a successful career at MSU and other universities, with a proven track record of successfully launching and completing university capital campaigns. Further, she has maintained many contacts at the university among donors, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators and the fundraising community. The fact that she is willing to take on the role of VP for University Advancement when we need her speaks volumes about her commitment to our great university.”

As the vice president for University Advancement, Heil will oversee university development efforts and the MSU Alumni Association and its many chapters. Alumni and donors help advance the mission of the university through advocacy, student recruitment, career advice and placement, ambassadorship and financial support.

“I’m ecstatic to be returning to Michigan State,” Heil said. “The university is completing a very successful capital campaign, Empower Extraordinary, which is fantastic. But there is more work to be done and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and jump right in. I’m excited to be working again with MSU alumni, donors and staff.”

While at MSU previously, Heil was the chief fundraising professional. She worked to increase the development staff, wrote strategic plans for multiple campaigns, developed unit goals with different colleges at the university and worked with deans, directors and executive leadership.

In 2009, Heil left MSU and spent four years as senior vice president for development at Indiana University Foundation. While at IU, she managed the areas of principal gifts, individual gifts, regional campuses, annual giving, talent management and marketing communications. Her accomplishments included increasing $1 million-level donors by 30 percent and establishing the Principal Gifts Program for donors who give $5 million-plus.

In June 2013, Heil became the vice president for development and alumni relations at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she stayed until she retired in April 2017. There, she served as the chief development officer responsible for all fundraising and alumni relations and served as the president’s liaison to affiliated foundations.

Heil officially will start Oct. 3, and her position is expected to be approved by the Board of Trustees at its Oct. 26 meeting.