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

Jay Davenport named VCU vice president for development and alumni relations

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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.