Foundation hires major gift officers

This semester the Missouri Southern Foundation welcomes two new staff members to its roster: Elisa Bryant and Michelle Ducre. The two will fill the vacant postion and added position of major gift officer.

“We were very understaffed for a University of this size and had been talking about adding another major gift officer.” JoAnn Graffam, Vice president for development and executive director of Missouri Southern Foundation said.

“To really be out there enough to meet and work with donors to help bring in resources for students, it was important to add the second position.

“We’re excited to have Michelle and Elisa joining our team,” said Graffam. “They both come with experience as well as passion for helping Missouri Southern students achieve success.”

Ducre holds a masters degree from Pittsburg State University and previously held the position of executive director of the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri.

Bryant holds a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern and has been serving as alumni relations coordinator for the MSSU Alumni Association since her graduation in 2004.

“Their primary job will be to identify, cultivate and solidify donors. They will also be working on campus with deans and department heads to determine needs and gift matching donors with these projects that they have a passion for,” Graffam said.

Program Prioritization and the Master Facilities Plan will also aide in guiding what projects the Foundation will seek donors for.

Projects they have worked on previously this past semester include equipment funding, scholarships, endowments and partnering with Student Senate by finding a donor to help fund the lion statue that will be placed on campus this semester.

“The Foundation is here to advance support for students. We want to help you be more successful and we do that by identifying, cultivating and soliciting donors,” Graffam said. “I am excited for the change and am looking forward to the future of the Foundation.”