(March 19, 2019) -- The San Antonio Area Foundation today announced the selection of Marjie M. French, UTSA Vice President for External Relations and Chief Development Officer, as its next Chief Executive Officer. French will join the San Antonio Area Foundation after spending more than a decade at UTSA, where she built a comprehensive philanthropic program that is propelling the university toward recognition as a premier research institution.
A seasoned leader with nearly 30 years of experience in the management of development, advancement, alumni relations, and communications and marketing teams, French’s career includes leadership roles in three comprehensive capital campaigns and personal major gift solicitations and acquisitions from both state and national charitable foundations. At UTSA, her portfolio included principal gifts as well as the development, advancement, alumni programs, and university communications and marketing operations.
In 2009, French launched UTSA’s first capital campaign, We Are UTSA – A Top-Tier Campaign. The initiative sought $120 million in support for student scholarships, faculty and research initiatives, campus activities, and community outreach programs. In early 2013, UTSA surpassed its $120 million goal and, with two years left in the campaign, set a new goal of $175 million. By the close of the capital campaign in 2016, the university had surpassed that goal and secured more than $202 million in gifts and pledges.
Through the campaign, which was supported by nearly 33,000 donors, UTSA secured 143 new endowments including 70 endowed scholarships, 41 endowed faculty positions and nine endowments providing 32 graduate fellowships. Additionally, UTSA received its largest single private gift, $22 million from the estate of Mary E. McKinney.
More recently, French has led efforts to expand philanthropic support for UTSA students and researchers and to facilitate the expansion of the UTSA Downtown Campus as part of the city’s high-tech corridor.
Last year, French guided UTSA in securing $37 million in gifts and pledges, setting a new annual fundraising record for the university.
“Marjie is an exemplary leader who has energized the San Antonio philanthropic community in support of UTSA,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “For more than a decade, she has built a record-breaking program that has created a foundation of philanthropic stability and growth for the university. Because of her vision and commitment to excellence, UTSA is moving at light speed to become a world-class university.”
He added, “While I will miss working with Marjie, I understand how committed she is to serving the San Antonio community. I look forward to working with her at the Area Foundation, which will be in very good hands.”
French will begin her role as San Antonio Area Foundation CEO on April 8. She will be responsible for managing more than $900 million in assets to educate youth, preserve the environment, protect animals, fund research and provide services that enhance the quality of life for people living in and around San Antonio.
A native Texan, French earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. From 2005 to 2008, she supervised all aspects of development at UT-Dallas including operations, alumni relations, major gifts, annual fund, communication and endowment services. Under her leadership, total giving increased by 50 percent and alumni participation increased by 70 percent.
From 2000 to 2005, French managed the Dallas major gift program for UT-Austin’s $1.6 billion “We’re Texas” campaign. Additionally, she led fundraising that resulted in the creation of the Real Estate Finance Center at UT-Austin’s McCombs School of Business.
At the University of Houston, she supervised development programs for both the Honors College and the College of Architecture during the university’s $350 million creative partnership campaign.
In the coming days, Eighmy will appoint a search committee and launch a national search to fill French’s role. The university has retained education philanthropy executive Karl Miller of Bentz Whaley Flessner as a senior level advisor for development, advancement and alumni operations during the transition period.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
The events are a collaborative effort between student organizations, student led-groups, and campus departments.Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
UTSA is a designated early voting site for the May 4 Joint, General and Special Election. Any registered Bexar County voter can skip the lines and cast a ballot at UTSA from Monday, April 22 to Tuesday, April 30.H-E-B Student Union (HSU 1.002), Main Campus
In this UTSA 50th anniversary speaker series, Roger Enriquez, UTSA associate professor of criminal justice, explores how immigration past and present helps us understand its future.Casa Hernán, 411 Cevallos St., San Antonio
Discussion will explore the new Master of Arts in Global Affairs offered through the Department of Political Science and Geography at UTSA. Guest speakers will include representatives from local and federal government, military, and civil society.H-E-B Student Union Travis Room (HSU 2.202), Main Campus
An evening of fine food and drink inspired by UTSA’s renowned Mexican Cookbook Collection. Proceeds from the event will support UTSA’s Mexican Cookbook Collection.Hotel Emma, 136 E Grayson St., San Antonio
Grab a friend and sign up to bowl with fellow Roadrunners and raise money for scholarships.University Bowl, 12332 I-10 #10, San Antonio
The UTSA Department of Art and Art History present the work of emerging artists who are graduating from UTSA. Work ranges from traditional methods and materials, interdisciplinary and new media. Themes range from social and cultural critique to investigations that are challenging and exquisite explorations in creative form and image.Arts Building, Main Art Gallery (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
UTSA's first spring Commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m., May 18 and honors graduates from the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.