Saying good-bye

Mar 31, 2006

Vice President Darryl Sczepanski leaves Kettering after eight years

As Darryl Sczepanski was packing boxes to leave Kettering, his University Advancement staff members were actively engaged in some friendly name calling: "News hound!" - clammered the Public Relations & Communications staff. "Fundraiser extraordinaire," the Development officers chimed in.

As the last of the boxes were sealed and the teasing came to an end - it was time for Kettering's popular and congenial vice president of University Advancement to say good bye.

Sczepanski left Kettering March 31 to become the lead development officer at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. He starts his new job at EMU on Monday, April 3, as the vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the EMU Foundation.

Kettering President Stan Liberty said the University will feel his absence. "We're pleased Darryl has this new opportunity, but we will certainly miss him. The entire Kettering community wishes him every success at Eastern Michigan."

Sczepanski spent eight years at Kettering, mostly as a vice president. He joined the University as a major gifts officer in 1998, and became an acting vice president within a few months of joining the fund-raising team.

"April 1998 was a great time to join the Kettering staff," Sczepanski said. "We had just made the transition from GMI Engineering and Management Institute to Kettering University, which opened a number of new doors for us, and the economy was booming, helping us to build some impressive fund raising numbers," he said.

His friendly manner quickly established him on campus and beyond. "He was a good listener and a tremendous advocate of the University," said Jack Stock, director of major gifts. "His disposition was always cheerful and his unassuming manner automatically puts people at ease."

Judy Howald, executive director of Individual and Major Gifts, agreed. "He is a great friend raiser for Kettering," she said. "Everyone likes Darryl. He is thoughtful and considerate and was a pleasure to work with, and well liked by the many alumni who met him."

One of his biggest accomplishments at Kettering was building a divisional team that successfully completed a $100+ million Capital Campaign to benefit the University. Sczepanski is credited with helping to revitalize a struggling $60 million capital campaign that stalled at $34 million before being turned into a $100 million success.

The campaign closed in December 2001, raising funds for scholarships, renovations and student life initiatives. In addition, the University also received several large software and in-kind gifts including $88 million in hardware, software and training from the PACE organization (a consortium of EDS, General Motors, Sun Microsystems and UGS); $47 million in design software from SDRC; and more than $40 million in buildings, neighborhood revival and land rejuvenation around campus from Delphi Automotive Systems and General Motors. In recognition of this progress, Kettering received the 2002 CASE Circle of Excellence in Educational Fund Raising Award, Improvement Category.

"His impact on Kettering came just at the right time," said Bob Nichols, vice president for Enrollment Management and long-time colleague. "The scholarships that Kettering can offer today and the beautiful new facilities that we were able to complete because of the Capital Campaign, really are a tribute to Darryl's contributions here."

"I was fortunate to have a very successful and affluent alumni base, and I inherited a dedicated staff with a true love for the University," Sczepanski added. "Because we had such a compelling story to tell, we were very successful in our alumni, public relations and fund-raising efforts."

Sczepanski leaves Kettering with more than 30 years of experience in capital campaign management, major gift fund raising and alumni relations. He started his career at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska, as director of college relations and has served in a variety of advancement positions including: news bureau director at Michigan Technological University; director of university relations at the University of Minnesota- Duluth; a college-based fund raiser at the University of Colorado-Boulder; alumni and development director at Marquette University, and associate vice president for development at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Sczepanski received his B.S. in journalism and business administration from Central Michigan University in 1972, and a M.A. in public relations from Ball State University in 1973. He and his wife Nancy have three children Dawn, 25; Robyn, 18; and Matthew, 13.

Written by Pat Mroczek
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