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Jay Davenport named VCU vice president for development and alumni relations

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Jay Davenport has been named vice president for development and alumni relations, effective Sept. 25.

Virginia Commonwealth University announced today that following a national search Jay Davenport has been named vice president for development and alumni relations, effective Sept. 25. Davenport currently serves as associate vice president of individual giving and campaign management at Wake Forest University.

As VCU’s chief development officer, Davenport will lead advancement efforts for both the university and VCU Health System. Those efforts include advancement services, alumni relations, annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, development and alumni communications, donor relations, regional philanthropy, and the universitywide development staff.

Davenport’s immediate responsibility will be leading the Make it Real Campaign for VCU, the largest fundraising effort in university history. The campaign, which concludes in June 2020, surpassed $500 million of its $750 million goal in June of this year.

“Jay is an experienced development professional who has served at top universities,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “He has the vision and drive to further elevate the success of our development and alumni relations division. I am excited to work with him to deepen our connections with our alumni and friends.”

Davenport has served in several roles at Wake Forest since 2010, including as assistant vice president of college development, assistant vice president of major gifts, and associate vice president and campaign director. Previously, Davenport was director of development and team leader at Rice University and also held fundraising positions as a college development director at the University of Memphis College of Business and Wright State University College of Engineering. He began his higher education career as an assistant dean of admissions at Wittenberg University in 1995.

“I am honored and excited to join Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU's deep commitment to being a premier urban, public research university focused on both the success of its students and the improvement of the community is impressive,” Davenport said. “I look forward to joining President Rao, his outstanding team and the advancement staff to help advance VCU’s mission.” 

Davenport holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Xavier University and a master's degree in higher education administration from Ball State University. He succeeds Marti K.S. Heil, who retired earlier this year.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.