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Graceland Announces Institutional Advancement Changes


Administration and Staff, Alumni

February 1, 2022 | Shane Adams

Graceland University’s Institutional Advancement team announced some structural changes this week, promoting Rick Isham ’82, MBA, to Senior Director of Major Gifts and Paula Anderson, MBA, to Senior Director of Advancement Services. Both begin their new roles immediately and will continue reporting to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Kristi Hettrick 

Isham, who started at Graceland in 2004, will be responsible for the management and growth of a team who cultivates, solicits, and stewards many of Graceland’s generous alumni and friends. Isham has been instrumental in key Graceland initiatives like the “Graceland Forever” campaign and the recent capitalfocused projects Newcom Student Union and Morden Center. Most recently, he was tasked by President Patricia H. Draves to help lead the Digital Transformation fundraising initiative and serves as the University liaison to the Alumni Board of Directors.   

Hettrick spoke to Isham’s capabilities, saying, Rick’s ability to drive and manage strategic and personalized engagement with alumni and donors, as well as key campus partners, faculty, and members of the Board of Trustees, has been a difference maker for Graceland. Past, current, and future students will continue to be impacted by the resources Rick has brought to both the Lamoni and the Independence campus. We are lucky to have him continue to serve Graceland in this new role during this critical time in the life of our University. 

Anderson has been a part of the Institutional Advancement team since 2010 and has held a variety of different roles from helping to organize Homecoming to serving as the chair of Graceland’s Directors’ Council. In her new role, Anderson will manage a team with the responsibility for record maintenance, reporting, gift entry management, and philanthropy business support. Anderson will work closely with the Major Gifts team, Business Services, Accounting, and the Marketing team to build strong, competent, reliable, and accurate support for fundraising, relationship development, events, and the engagement of boards, alumni, friends, faculty/staff, corporations, and foundations.  

“Paula has consistently provided strategic leadership to support the entire philanthropic effort of Graceland University. She is a thoughtful and intentional hands-on manager who takes initiative across the entire organization and a leader who is always focused on how we can improve the lives of our students. Graceland is fortunate to have Paula serve in this essential role to help move our mission forward in new ways,” said Hettrick. 

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