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Development Vice President Rod Kirsch to Retire

Senior Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations Rod Kirsch announced his retirement today, effective August 31. Kirsch has been responsible for Penn State’s fundraising efforts since 1996.

“Rod’s excellent leadership and ability to oversee some of our most critical needs and significant interactions with alumni and friends is unequaled in his field,” President Eric Barron said in a Penn State release. “His diligence in fundraising and in conveying the deepest needs of this institution and our students has been stellar and he has laid a solid foundation for anyone who follows. In fact, he leaves such a legacy of success that it will be difficult to fill his shoes. We wish him the absolute best as he moves ahead to the next chapter.”

During his time at Penn State, Kirsch managed two seven-year campaigns, each worth more than one billion dollars and led Penn State to raise more money during his first ten years than the university had raised in the previous 140 years. Kirsch and his wife have also committed nearly $200,000 to endow the Vice President for Development Staff Excellence Award, establish the Kirsch/Stipanovich Trustee Scholarship, fund the Prairie Patch at the Children’s Garden in the Penn State Arboretum, and help create the first CAPS embedded counselor position. In 2014, Penn State and the Alumni Association awarded Kirsch with honorary alumnus status to recognize his immense contributions to the university.

“His steadfast commitment to raising funds for students, his sincere love of the institution and his superb judgment have inspired many a volunteer not only to contribute dollars, but to engage actively with the University,” said Martha Jordan, chair of the executive committee of the Penn State Advisory Council on Philanthropy. “While personally I’m sad to see him go, I couldn’t be happier that he has made a decision to enter a new phase of his life.”

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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