Bryan Benchoff

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University names vice president for university advancement

Bryan Benchoff will assume lead role in $450 million campaign

Bryan Benchoff has been named vice president for university advancement for Ohio University effective July 15, 2011.

Benchoff has extensive prior experience in higher education. He is currently the president and CEO of the University of South Dakota Foundation, a position he has held since 2008.

From 1990-2007, he served in a variety of positions with the West Virginia University Foundation. Positions included assistant director of development (1990-1992), director of development (1992-1997), senior director of development for major gifts (1997-2001), assistant campaign director (1997-2004), assistant vice president for constituency development (2001-2004), and associate vice president for development (2004-2007).

Earlier in his career, Benchoff worked in development and fundraising for the American Red Cross, Southern Pennsylvania Chapter, the Arthritis Foundation, Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter and the American Heart Association.

Benchoff will be responsible for leading the University's $450 million "The Promise Lives" capital campaign and all aspects of University Advancement, which includes leadership of The Ohio University Foundation, Alumni Affairs and Development.

"We are very pleased to welcome Bryan Benchoff to the Ohio University family," said President Roderick J. McDavis. "His extensive experience with university advancement and the depth of knowledge he brings will be of great benefit as we move the University forward and continue our progress toward our campaign goal. I thank the search committee led by Vice President Kent Smith for its dedication and commitment to identify and attract a respected leader of Bryan's caliber to Ohio University."

During his open forums with the OHIO community, Benchoff expressed how he hopes to engage the entire University in advancement.

"It’s really everyone’s job," he said. "That doesn’t mean that everyone needs to solicit a gift, but everyone is going to be a part of it if we’re going to move the agenda forward and build a stronger institution."

He then continued, emphasizing the importance of building relationships to advance the University’s mission.

"The fun part is shaping [the type of gift]. When you’re talking to a donor who’s going to make a sizable gift, or even a modest gift, they have very real notions and expectations about what that will ultimately do for an institution. And, to be a part of that ….to get it the way people want … that’s what works for me."

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit expressed confidence that Benchoff's knowledge of higher education advancement will help the University achieve its fundraising and strategic goals.

"Bryan Benchoff's experience and commitment to higher education will be tremendous assets to Ohio University as we move toward achieving our vision as the nation's best transformative learning community," said Benoit. "We welcome him to our community." 

Benchoff said, "I couldn’t be more excited. I was highly impressed with all aspects of Ohio University and the volunteers and staff that I met throughout the interview process. OU is clearly an institution on the move, and I look forward to being a part of and building upon its tradition of excellence."

McDavis also expressed his gratitude to the University Advancement team members for their continued commitment during the search process, which began in late 2010.