UW-Green Bay selects experienced Cavanaugh as Advancement leader
J. Lance Cavanaugh, vice president for development for the University of Arizona Foundation, will join the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and President of the UW-Green Bay Foundation, Inc.
UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller announced the appointment Thursday (Nov. 12). Cavanaugh will begin his new duties Jan. 1, 2016.
“It is incredibly exciting to have someone of Lance’s experience and achievement join our leadership team,” Miller said. “We welcome him and his wife, Kathryn, and their family back to Wisconsin.”
Cavanaugh has more than three decades of leadership experience in fundraising and institutional advancement at major public universities including the University of Arizona, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State University, Wright State University, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and the University of Nevada. He gained private college advancement experience at Beloit College in Wisconsin and Monmouth (Ill.) College.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity at UWGB and moving to Green Bay,” Cavanaugh said. “I look forward to being active in the community and meeting many alumni and other supporters of the university.”
“Public universities,” he continued, “are relying more on private philanthropic support from alumni, friends in the community, companies and foundations. To continue the progress and growth of UW-Green Bay, we need to build relationships with more individuals and organizations. We need to increase giving in support of student scholarships, faculty development, academic programs, facility improvements, the arts including the Weidner Center, and Green Bay Phoenix athletics.”
As Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Cavanaugh will report directly to the chancellor as a member of his cabinet. He will be charged with leading and managing UW-Green Bay’s comprehensive advancement program in donor cultivation and stewardship, alumni relations, and fundraising by way of major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, and corporate and foundation relations.
The Vice Chancellor also serves as President and ex-officio member of the UW-Green Bay Foundation board of directors, and as chief operating officer of the private, non-profit foundation.
During his career, Cavanaugh has helped hundreds of individuals make major gifts, leadership annual gifts, and planned gifts including charitable trusts and bequests. He has secured several seven-figure gifts and an eight-figure gift of more than $10 million. The largest philanthropic contribution he personally secured from a corporate foundation was $2.2 million.
Since joining the University of Arizona Foundation in 2009, Cavanaugh has managed and coached 14 development officers, including five regional officers who personally meet with alumni and friends nationwide. He worked with colleagues to plan and launch Arizona NOW, a $1.5 billion comprehensive capital campaign.
Miller expects Cavanaugh’s broad range of experience to yield dividends in extending the effectiveness and reach of UW-Green Bay’s friend- and fund-raising programs.
“He was the one candidate with significant experience in working with a foundation, donor stewardship, alumni relations, major gifts, planned giving, coordinating with athletics, the arts and other program-based fundraisers … all of the varied functions he will be responsible for here at UW-Green Bay,” Miller noted. “Lance is going to be a tremendous asset as we seek to strategically grow this University in terms of enrollment, programming and community engagement.”
The national search and screen that resulted in Cavanaugh’s selection was headed by Foth Companies Chairman of the Board Tim Weyenberg, who is executive-in-residence for UW-Green Bay’s Austin E. Cofrin School of Business.
Cavanaugh earned his B.A. degree in media arts from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minn., in 1979. He worked as a TV news reporter and producer in Duluth before entering institutional advancement at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. Within five years he was back in the Twin Ports area as director of development for UM-Duluth.
Later, Cavanaugh held high-profile positions with the Iowa State University Foundation, as executive director of development for the College of Engineering; the University of Wisconsin Foundation, as senior director of development for the UW-Madison College of Engineering; and Monmouth College, as vice president for development and college relations.
“Moving to Green Bay has very special meaning for me,” Cavanaugh said. “Green Bay is a beautiful area and UWGB is an impressive university with great potential for the future. I grew up in Wisconsin during the Lombardi-era glory years of the Green Bay Packers. I have always been a devoted fan of the Packers, so I’m very happy that I will be living and working in Green Bay.”