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Foundation leader announces retirement from Missouri State – News

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Foundation leader announces retirement from Missouri State – News


Brent Dunn

The confetti has settled. The most ambitious fundraising campaign in Missouri State University’s history is complete.

And today, Brent Dunn announced he will retire Aug. 1, 2023.

Dunn, executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation and vice president of university advancement, began his work at Missouri State in 1985 as the director of annual giving. Later, he became the athletics development director, until he took on the executive director role in 2007.

“In his 38-year career at MSU, Brent has accomplished more than anyone ever thought possible,” said MSU President Clif Smart. “He is the university’s greatest advocate and has been tremendously important to our success.

“Because he genuinely loves the university, I know he will continue to be involved here the rest of his life. I will, however, miss the regular interaction I have had the last 12 years with someone who has become a good friend.”

Under his leadership, the foundation showed tremendous growth, raising record-breaking totals nearly every year. The foundation also won multiple awards for excellence in fundraising from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

“Brent builds and values relationships, and he’s created this incredible network of people who support the university’s priorities,” said Mark McQueary, chair of the foundation’s Board of Trustees. “He is an incredible leader who moves people to action.”

Dunn’s work transformed the university

In addition to the recently concluded Onward Upward campaign, Dunn led the Our Promise campaign, which raised $167 million. He also participated in The Campaign for SMS, which raised more than $50 million.

Dunn’s work touched every facet of the university, helping to fund:

  • Student scholarships.
  • Endowed professorships.
  • Headlining speakers for the public affairs conference, like Marlee Matlin, Colin Powell, Jenna Bush Hager and Jillian Michaels.
  • Building renovations, naming opportunities and new buildings, including the John Goodman Amphitheatre in the Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park, Davis-Harrington Welcome Center, Foster Family Recreation Center, O’Reilly Clinical Health Science Center and Great Southern Bank Arena.

“What we’ve been able to do at Missouri State, thanks to the friends of the university, has been nothing short of incredible,” Dunn said. “I have loved seeing the transformation and experiencing the campus through so many iterations.

“I cannot imagine a day where I don’t attend an MSU event or share the great stories of the many students, faculty, alumni and staff I am privileged to know.”

Search for replacement begins soon

The university will conduct a national search for Dunn’s replacement.