Vice Chancellor David Housh prepares to leave MU
Colleagues said they’ll remember his commitment to fundraisers.
Aug. 12, 2011
As Vice Chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations for the past ten years, David Housh was a leader of the Mizzou Alumni Association while also managing fundraising operations for the university.
Now, after 24 years with MU, Housh has decided to retire in October.
“I am very proud of my time at MU,” Housh said. “Working with key leadership, including chancellors, deans, faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors, we took a relatively young fundraising operation and really made something happen.”
Starting in 2000, Housh was a part of the “For All We Call Mizzou” campaign, an eight-year fundraising effort that raised $1 billion for the school.
“Once everyone was on board and we could see what an impact private philanthropy had at MU, we knew we could successfully raise more money here, and we did,” Housh said.
With only three months left on the job, Housh hopes he has built a fundraising program that all can be proud of.
“I am confident the division will go on to even greater fundraising ambitions,” Housh said. “I feel blessed to have worked with such strong MU leadership and such wonderful alumni.”
Originally hired as a development director for the Trulaske College of Business in 1987, Housh has been a resident of Columbia for 37 years. After his replacement is named, Housh intends to move to Montana.
“My hope is that I will be remembered for how much I love this place, and how I was inspired to really build a fundraising program,” Housh said. “With the successful $1 billion campaign, I think we created a stable financial future for MU.”
After working closely with the vice chancellor, Director of Developmental Communications Catey Terry said she feels Housh’s impact on MU will be remembered for years to come.
“He practiced smart growth in the division,” she said. “First he hired more fundraisers and then more support staff for the infrastructure, while keeping our costs at 11 cents per dollar raised during the campaign. Now, having been through a billion dollar campaign, we have what is considered in the industry to be a mature fundraising operation.”
During one campaign, Terry remembers the impact a colleague’s death had on the vice chancellor.
“He is really a softie at heart,” Terry said. “We had a colleague who died of cancer during the campaign and David still gets very sentimental talking about her. He’s a loyal friend.”
Among Housh’s decade of fundraising efforts for MU was a 2006 attempt to restore the Tiger Spot, a 30-foot mosaic located at Lowry Mall, right outside of Ellis Library. After five years of discussions, the mosaic’s artist, Paul Jackson, filed suit against MU despite Housh’s attempt to secure private funding to relocate and repair the work of art.
“As a leader, he had done everything he asked his staff to do and he lead by example,” Terry said. “Because of his background, people respected him and were willing to work hard. He was able to carry out the vision of the campus leadership while inspiring the people who worked for him.”
Looking back on his career, Housh is adamant that the staff and alumni he worked with at MU were his greatest allies.
“I was fortunate to have the vision of the chancellor, the support and leadership of the deans, the dedication and hard work of a talented staff and the generosity of loyal alumni,” he said, “Together we created something special.”