(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.
Emerging artists work in the full range of traditional methods and materials as well as in interdisciplinary and new media. Themes range from social and cultural critique to investigations that are challenging and exquisite explorations in creative form and image.UTSA Art Gallery, Arts Building, Main Campus
Juan Vallejo’s art conveys his experience as a childhood migrant worker. Opening reception: Thurs, Dec. 5, 6–9 p.m. Free and open to the public.UTSA Terminal 136, Blue Star Arts Complex, 136 Blue St., San Antonio
Portions of Cook Road will be closed for construction related to the new Student Success Center project and Americans with Disabilities Act sidewalk upgrades.Cook Road, Main Campus
Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace. A remarkable true experience, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. UTSA partners with The Public Theater for this event. Contact the theater at (210) 458-3288 for scheduling requests.Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus
Forty-six modular units will be delivered to Main Campus as part of the new Student Success Center project. The units will enter campus at Brennan Avenue and will travel to their final destination, south of the North Paseo Building and Graduate School and Research Building via Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road and Devine Avenue.Brennan Avenue, Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road, Devine Avenue, Main Campus
Enjoy two classic holiday performances. Children’s Ballet of San Antonio will present two of The Nutcracker. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church will perform a traditional Pastorela play, a morality tale about shepherds going to Bethlehem and the snares the devil uses to dissuade them. Performances are included with regular ITC admission.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio
Celebrating graduating students from the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Guest speaker: Susan Pape '86, chairman of the San Antonio Express-News.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.
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