Walker Hall Construction


Executive Director for Alumni, Development Announced


February 7, 2011

In the past three years, Maryville University has seen significant growth in fundraising. As part of an overall effort to ensure continued success, the University has announced the appointment of David Bruns, who will serve as executive director for alumni and development programs, effective March 1.

“We’re delighted to welcome David Bruns to Maryville,” said Tom Eschen, vice president of the Office of Institutional Advancement. “With his extensive experience in higher education, David will provide valuable leadership at a pivotal time in our fundraising efforts.”

Over the past 10 years, Bruns has worked with higher education programs for planned giving, major gift solicitation, annual giving, corporate relations and stewardship. Most recently, he directed development efforts with Washington University’s School of Medicine. Prior to that, he was the longtime assistant vice chancellor for the Office of Student Affairs Advancement at the University of Illinois.

As Bruns prepares to lead alumni and donor relations, along with other major fundraising projects, he builds on a remarkable three-year pattern of growth at Maryville University:

  • Total revenue has grown from $2.3 million in FY2008 to a current mid-fiscal year total of $6.1 million;
  • Alumni giving has increased from 7 percent in 2008 to 10.5 percent at the end of FY2010 (May 31, 2010) and is expected to reach 12.5 percent this year;
  • Alumni donors have grown from 1,302 in FY2008 to 2,181 in FY2010 (a 67 percent increase);
  • Total donors have increased from 1,939 to 4,336 (a 123 percent growth rate)
  • Membership in Maryville’s most prestigious donor club, the Duchesne Society, has risen 65 percent since FY2008;
  • Faculty and staff giving has grown from 28 percent to 72 percent during a period when salaries have been frozen;
  • More than 65 percent of the undergraduate Class of 2010 made a gift.

“The show of support from our alumni, parents and friends during tough economic times has been phenomenal,” said Eschen.  “For our faculty, staff and students to give at this level says a lot about their commitment, dedication and Maryville’s close sense of community.  It’s a very special place.”

Maryville’s recent fundraising success was recognized by the professional organization CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education), receiving the 2010 CASE-WealthEngine Circle of Excellence Award for Educational Fundraising. The award measures improvement from Fiscal Year 2005 to 2010. Maryville was the only Private Comprehensive Institution category winner for Overall Improvement.

Notwithstanding the overall growth of the comprehensive development program, Maryville’s current top institutional priority is to complete fundraising for the new home of the School of Health Professions. In recognition of a significant lead gift from generous St. Louis philanthropists Earl (Maryville trustee) and Myrtle Walker, the new 70,000 square foot LEED-certified building will be named Earl E. and Myrtle E. Walker Hall.

“We’re a little more than halfway toward our goal of $20 million for Walker Hall,” said Eschen.  “David will be instrumental in helping us raise the remaining funds.”

About Maryville University
Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Regional Universities – Midwest category, Maryville University students may choose from 50 academic programs, including degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Among recent graduates, 82 percent are employed or attending graduate school. More than 16,000 Maryville alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.


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