Kent Stanley, University Advancement

Kent StanleyKent Stanley is in his eighth year as Vice President for University Advancement at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He also serves as the Executive Director for the Minnesota State University Foundation, the 501(c)3 non-profit that manages the University’s fundraising and endowment investment. His realignment of the University Advancement division has already paid off multiple national awards and with the biggest five-year run of fundraising in school history. He oversees all fundraising, marketing/communications, alumni relations, and public relations  for the ~14,000 student campus.

Prior to MSU he served as Associate Vice President for Advancement/ Senior Associate Athletic Director – Athletics & Strategic University Initiatives at land-grant R-1 Utah State University from 2008-2016. He played a pivotal role in the wildly successful $200M Honoring Tradition, Securing Our Future comprehensive campaign that reached a final total of $513M.

He served from 2006-2008 as the Director of Athletics at Fort Lewis College (CO), an NCAA DII member institution. He began his athletic administration career at NCAA I-AA Eastern Washington University where he was the Associate Athletic Director –Development from 2001-2006.

At each stop Stanley has overseen record fundraising growth in annual fund giving, major gifts, and endowments while managing transformational capital projects; from major renovations to new buildings. He has been a creative adopter of the use of technology in donor relations; from video e-mail to digital magazines to photo vaults. An innovative fundraiser he has pioneered “Teams Model” annual funds, created hybrid funds, and developed highly successful donor identification and acquisition tools. Stanley has been personally involved in successful fundraising solicitations of over $350M during his career.

Known as an energetic presenter at some of the industries’ premier events including the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) regional & national seminars, Meeting of the Minds (West Coast and Midwest), National Association of Athletic Directors of Development (NACDA & NAADD) Convention, and Paciolan’s PACNet. Stanley also teaches the fundamentals of fundraising, advancement leadership, and Foundation Board management as a consultant.  

His areas of professional and personal service as a volunteer and/or Board member have included Chambers of Commerce (Logan, UT, and Mankato, MN), Association of Fundraising Professionals, multiple church boards, Athletes in Action (Xenia, OH), and the Mennonite Brethren Christian Service program (Fresno, CA).

Stanley spent the first part of his career as a faculty member and basketball coach. He is a two-time National Coach of the Year leading his 1999- and 2000-women’s basketball teams at Oklahoma City University to National Championships. He coached in over 20 countries working with men’s and women’s pro clubs and national team programs in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Stanley grew up in a logging town in northern British Columbia, and became the first member of his family to attend college. Stanley earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and physical education from Trinity Western University and then earned a graduate degree from Fresno State in athletic administration. He has completed additional post-graduate work at the United States Sports Academy, MIT, and is a 2018 graduate of Harvard’s Institute for Education Management (IEM). 

As a multi-sport collegiate student-athlete he was a two-year basketball team captain and the career assist record holder upon graduation. He was honored by his alma mater by being included in a hardcover University alumni publication profiling “40 Alumni Who Make a Difference.”

Stanley and his wife Hollie, a higher education administrator, have been married 34 years and have two children. Zach is a recent graduate of MSU and works at Taylor Corp as a technology project manager, and Mikayla is a senior at Cedarville University (OH).  

(More information available on the University Advancement website.)