Western Md. College taps Pennsylvania man for fund-raiser post

July 22, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Western Maryland College announced yesterday that a Pennsylvania man has been selected as the school's new vice president of institutional advancement.

Richard G. Kief of Gettysburg, who has had a successful career in health care philanthropy, will start work at the liberal arts college in Westminster on Aug. 17. He succeeds Richard F. Seaman, who has served in the top fund-raising position since 1991.

Kief was chosen from a national field of 85 candidates, according to Donald W. Schumaker Jr., spokesman for Western Maryland. A search committee of faculty and staff reviewed applications for three months before offering Kief the position, Schumaker said.

Kief has been working as a fund-raising professional since 1985, most recently for Suburban Hospital Foundation in Bethesda. He has raised more than $22 million for the hospital.

"I'm very excited," Kief said of his new job.

"Western Maryland is a gem of a school. In many ways, its reputation lags behind its reality."

Kief praised the school's international campus in Hungary and its strong math and science departments.

Kief said his main goal at Western Maryland, a school with 1,500 students, will be to increase the institution's $40 million endowment. Schools of similar size usually have endowments ranging from $100 million to $300 million, Kief said.

The vice president of institutional advancement oversees about 30 employees and is responsible for fund raising, development, public information and alumni affairs. Schumaker declined to disclose Kief's salary.

Fund-raising efforts include the school's annual giving program and "The Defining Moment," a campaign to raise $40 million for capital improvements, a state-of-the-art science center and scholarships.

The college gives about $13 million in grant assistance to students each year.

The Defining Moment campaign began in September 1996 and will run until Dec. 31, 1999. Nearly $33 million has been pledged.

"The college has never been stronger nor more deserving of support," said President Robert H. Chambers.

Kief, 47, earned a bachelor of science degree in sociology and a certificate in Latin American studies from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 1973. After graduation, he worked as a VISTA volunteer in El Paso, Texas, and was a student at Instituto de Idiomas in Bolivia.

For several years, he served as a fund-raising consultant for nonprofit organizations and established a development program for a private secondary school.

He also conducted an endowment study for a private college.

From 1985 to 1989, Kief served as Gettysburg Hospital's first chief development officer. During his tenure there, he raised more than $2 million in gifts and grants.

Since 1989, he has worked for Suburban Hospital. Kief serves as senior vice president for development and as executive vice president of Suburban Hospital Foundation.

Pub Date: 7/22/98

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