WMU News

DeVries named associate vice president for development

May 1, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A veteran Western Michigan University fund-raiser and attorney with extensive experience in estate planning and deferred gifts has been named to a new leadership position in the University's Development Office.

Kenneth J. DeVries has been named associate vice president for development. His appointment, which was effective March 28, was made pending approval by the WMU Board of Trustees. The board's next meeting is May 30.

DeVries has been director of planned giving services at WMU since 1989. In that role, he established and developed the University's planned gift program and played a major role in the University's last capital campaign, the Campaign for Excellence, which concluded in 1993.

"Ken's knowledge of planned giving, his familiarity with the institution and with the University's volunteer structure make him a candidate who can hit the ground running," says Bud Bender, WMU vice president for development. "He and I will work as an administrative team in implementing our upcoming capital campaign."

DeVries' new responsibilities include oversight of WMU's planned giving and corporate and foundation relations activities as well as supervision of a staff of constituent fund-raisers assigned to manage fund-raising initiatives for the University's various colleges.

A 1973 WMU alumnus, DeVries earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1976 and served as a law clerk in Kalamazoo County's Ninth Circuit Court before entering private practice for eleven years with the Kalamazoo firm James, Dark & Brill. He then pursued development work with a non-profit organization in Chicago as director of foundation and corporate major gifts before joining the WMU staff in 1989.

DeVries is a member of the State Bar in both Michigan and Illinois and a member of the National Committee on Planned Giving. He is a past president of the West Michigan Planned Giving Group and has served on the board of directors of the Michigan chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. In addition, he was a charter member of the Mattawan Public Education Foundation and served on that organization's board of directors and as its development committee chairperson. He holds certification in a number of areas, including planned giving, foundation and corporate funding, and professional management development.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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