Meet Our Development Team's New Quarterback

Posted on: September 3, 2013

Dean Whitten
Already in our second week of classes and gearing up for a second MSU home game victory this Saturday, the new school year is officially off and running!

As you rally behind the Green and White, I would like to introduce our new quarterback on the CAS development team! Please join me in giving Meredith Jagutis, our new Senior Development Director, a most enthusiastic Spartan welcome.

Our recruiting to find the perfect team leader for this position was right up there with MSU's athletic recruits. We wanted to find someone with a great track record for delivering winning results, a strong strategic thinker, quick on her feet and willing to make bold moves to reach critical goals.

These skill sets are particularly important at this time because CAS is rebuilding its development team as Michigan State University is in the beginning stages of a major campus-wide, capital campaign. Meredith is not only well equipped for this challenge with her seasoned professional background, her easy smile, warmth and genuineness make her a great fit for connecting with our alumni and friends. She comes to us from Community Counseling Services (CCS) in Chicago where she worked as an executive director serving clients throughout the Midwest. Jagutis has extensive experience managing fundraising campaigns, conducting feasibility studies and assisting clients across the nonprofit sector, including higher education. Her successes reflect a well-rounded approach to major gift fundraising and volunteer management.

Meredith Jagutis

Prior to working for CCS, she served as the director of annual giving for St. Ignatius College Prep and director of development for the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. She also was a corporate lawyer and practiced tax law. She hails from Mason, Mich., but has spent time throughout the greater Midwest with degrees from Indiana University and Marquette University Law School.

Joining Meredith to complete the development team will be an associate director of development, a position she already has begun a search to fill; assistant director of development Trajan Dubiel; alumni coordinator Rachael Zylstra; and administrative assistant Phyllis Kacos.

We also are thrilled to welcome to the MSU family, a new member of the University's Advancement Office, Andrew Watkins, Executive Director of Constituency Programs. Already a frequent, friendly face in the CAS corridors, Andrew wasted no time getting to know me and our development team.

In addition to working with CAS, he oversees fundraising efforts for a variety of academic and program-based fundraising units for MSU. Altogether, he covers five colleges, two museums, a performing arts center, university libraries and the division of student affairs.

Watkins comes to MSU from Florida State University, where he most recently served as the assistant dean of development for the College of Business. He also has held positions with Converse College, Clemson University and Limestone College, managing major fundraising campaigns in each position. He is a native of Illinois, with a B.S. in Economics and two masters degrees, one in Higher Education and one in Business Administration, all earned from Florida State.

As you can see, we have tremendous potential in the next few years to take CAS to a whole new level with the talents and expertise of our development team. We will need your help in every way possible to ensure each and every one of our students has the opportunity to thrive in a world in which instantaneous communication and communication technology are constantly changing the global landscape.

Your support is essential!

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