USC Upstate Hires Chief Philanthropic Officer

June 30, 2017 at 8:43 am

Dr. Meredith N. Brunen joins the University of South Carolina Upstate on July 3 as the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, where she serves as the chief philanthropic officer and executive director of the University of South Carolina Upstate Foundation.

As a principal adviser and member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet, Brunen works closely with the Chancellor, leads the University Advancement team, and the USC Upstate Foundation Board to support and bolster the mission of the University by securing private philanthropic support, reconnecting and reengaging alumni, and promoting a positive and robust reputation for the University. She provides leadership, strategic planning, counsel and assistance to academic, athletic, and administrative units to set strategic direction related to the execution of all fundraising, alumni relations, and communication activities.

“Dr. Meredith Brunen is an excellent fit for USC Upstate, the communities we serve in the Upstate of South Carolina, and our collective needs and expectations for the future,” said Dr. Brendan B. Kelly, chancellor of USC Upstate. “She is a highly skilled and very talented individual who possesses the skill set, attitude, leadership qualities and experience to help reset the institution’s approach to fundraising, management of the USC Upstate Foundation, alumni engagement, as well as many elements of our reputation management.”

Brunen formerly served as interim vice president for university advancement and associate vice president for university advancement at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, where she provided executive leadership advancing the mission of the University through marketing and communications, alumni relations, development, community engagement, the UWF Historic Trust and WUWF Public Media. She also held the role of executive director of development for Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Arkansas, where she served as chief executive officer of the NWACC Foundation and led the institutional development team in all facets of philanthropic giving to the College, including annual, major and planned giving as well as special events, alumni relations and scholarships.

As a practitioner and contributor to her field, Brunen has conducted, published and presented research focused on fundraising for higher education. She is an active member of many national organizations, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the American Association of University Women, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. As a result of her achievements both personally and professionally, she has been recognized on the “Forty Under 40” list by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and as “Young Woman of the Year” at the Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference.