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Graceland Names Kristi Hettrick Vice President for Institutional Advancement

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Administration and Staff, Alumni, Press Release

July 28, 2021

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kristi Hettrick

Graceland University named Kristi Hettrick ’96 as the new Vice President for Institutional Advancement after an extensive national search with a deep, talented applicant pool. Hettrick was previously serving as a Senior Director of Development for Graceland and will begin her new role on August 1, 2021.  

Graduating from Graceland in 1996, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, English (Writing) and in International Studies. She worked in television sales and marketing for a decade before moving to nonprofit management and philanthropy. She worked for Community of Christ in communications and development, creating the “Jack and Jen” children’s series on generosity and the “Power of 10” annual fund campaign. As the Director of Development for Harvesters—The Community Food Network, a Feeding America food bank, she led a large team of professionals focused on corporate, foundation, and individual major gift strategies as well as special event fundraising. Hettrick worked to develop annual and multi-year strategic fundraising campaigns targeting $18M+ annually as well as overseeing multiple capital campaigns. She served on the national Feeding America Fundraising Capacity Institute board and was also awarded the prestigious Association for Fundraising Professionals “Fundraising Team of the Year.”

Prior to joining Graceland, she served as Director of Development for The University of Kansas Health System, focused on individual major gift fundraising in support of cardiovascular medicine and the Center for Advanced Heart Care. While there she staffed volunteer funding councils and boards and successfully completed the fundraising goal for a large-scale renovation project focused on elevating cardiac outpatient care.

Hettrick’s strong background of strategic fundraising expertise and team leadership, her demonstrated success of principal gift philanthropy, and her contagious enthusiasm for the mission of Graceland made her the successful candidate for this mission critical position. “I am excited to have her experience on the Executive Council and look forward to working with her more closely in the days and months ahead,” said Patricia Draves, Graceland University President.

Hettrick said, “My experience at Graceland as a student helped shape the person I am today, but it was time spent outside this institution as a nonprofit leader and fundraiser that helped prepare me to partner with President Draves and the Board of Trustees to move our university into the next phase of advancement: meaningful and measurable alumni engagement and inclusive strategies for an increasingly diverse donor population.”

“I have a deep appreciation of Graceland past, an enthusiasm for Graceland present, and am honored to serve in the role of Vice President for Institutional Advancement as we build the Graceland of the future.” – Kristi Hettrick

“The legacy of leadership in Advancement at Graceland is invaluable and I know the work of Dr. Sherri Kirkpatrick and Kelly Everett will be felt for generations,” she continued. “I hope to honor their work and the institution with my own daring leadership as we seek out philanthropic partners for programs and buildings we have yet to imagine. I have a deep appreciation of Graceland past, an enthusiasm for Graceland present, and am honored to serve in the role as Vice President for Institutional Advancement as we build the Graceland of the future.”

Beginning August 1, Hettrick will focus on designing and deploying a data-driven comprehensive program for advancement, continue to oversee the strategic direction of the Graceland Fund to increase unrestricted support, and develop and deepen philanthropic partnerships for Graceland.

Graceland is grateful to Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kelly Everett for his years of service in this role and his unwavering support of the Advancement team. After many years of service Everett will move into semi-retirement, assuming a new role overseeing and working with the Facility Services manager and supervisors.

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