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Due to his extensive experiences working with institutions’ presidents, his determination in learning from failures, and the resulting successes over his career, Rick McKelvey provides unique insights to the chief executive officer and to the chief engagement officer.  His multiple campaign experiences lead to insightful assessments, coaching, feasibility studies and campaign consultation.

  • Leading successful capital, endowment, and comprehensive campaigns over a four decade highly successful career in advancement


  • Initial ten years of career at alma mater New Mexico State University rising through roles in alumni relations, annual giving, planned giving, major gifts, and management


  • Fast paced growth at Emory University launching a major gifts and planned giving program, implementing a balanced advancement program in the central office and in professional and graduate schools, planning responsibilities for a $400 million comprehensive campaign, and closing significant major and deferred gifts.


  • Serving as a founding member and third president of the National Committee for Planned Giving (NCPG), now National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.


  • Assessing, engaging, and establishing multi-faceted advancement programs at two national liberal arts colleges


  • Conducting alumni self study projects and implementing dynamic new alumni engagement programs


  • Creating Boards of Visitors at two institutions


  • Driving annual giving and corporate sponsorships to new levels at the Grammy Award winning           Atlanta Symphony Orchestra


  • Planning and successfully completing the first       endowment campaign for a performing arts organization in the southeast, and securing lead gifts for a symphony hall campaign


  • Co-founding a fundraising consultant firm assisting small to mid-sized orchestras across the country to develop sustainable development programs


  • Launching and completing a $150 million campaign, the largest in history for Texas’ leading national liberal arts college, Southwestern University, while also leading alumni revitalization and an integrated marketing initiative


  • Membership, committee service, and speaking roles in the Council for the Advancement and and Support of Education(CASE) at district and national levels


  • Developing a deep appreciation and respect for the stewarding of key relationships between institutions, their leaders, and their donors


  • Service through the United Methodist Church, United Way boards, CASE, NCPG, Rotary  International, the Rotary Foundation, and pro bono community organization consultations


  • Bachelors and Masters degrees from New Mexico State University; Harvard University Institute for Educational Management; and numerous professional development programs



Positions Held:


  • Assistant Director, Director of Alumni Relations, Director of Deferred Giving, Associate Vice President for Development, New Mexico State University, 1973-1983

  • Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving Programs, Associate Vice President for Development, Emory University, 1984-1990

  • Vice President for University Relations, Drew University, 1990-1994

  • Vice President for Development, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, 1994-2000

  • Founding Partner, The Stewardship Group, The Resource Group, 1997-2004

  • Vice President for University Relations, Southwestern University, 2000-2014

  • Owner and Principal, McKelvey Consulting, 2014-present

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