June 10, 2021: Vice President Heil to Retire


Dear Colleagues,

It is with a sense of deep gratitude that I announce our Vice President of University Advancement, Marti K.S. Heil, will be retiring and ending her distinguished service to Michigan State University. Marti has graciously agreed to remain in her role at full capacity while we conduct a national search for her successor. 

Marti has a career spanning 45 years across three universities — raising critical funds, tirelessly promoting the value of philanthropy and expanding alumni engagement efforts. She came out of retirement in October 2018, returning to MSU, her alma mater, where she has now spent a total of 33 years in advancement. Her time with MSU has been highly productive. During the past three years, she helped complete our successful “Empower Extraordinary Campaign,” raising $1.84 billion for prioritized university needs to support student scholarships, endowed professorships and capital projects. This was followed by the most successful fundraising year ever for MSU, reaching $272.6 million in fiscal year 2020. 

The university appreciates and counts on the generosity of our donors, and having that effort shepherded by a strong, experienced and thoughtful leader who appreciates the value of building relationships across the campus and with alumni, donors and friends is essential. In that spirit, Marti has begun work to prepare for the next comprehensive campaign and to realign the advancement staff and structure to best position us for success. With this foundation laid, Marti firmly believes that the next comprehensive campaign should be led by an executive who intends to be here for its duration, and she has decided that this is the right time to step back as a successor is identified and selected. 

Marti has been extremely helpful to me, introducing me to alumni and donors when I began my presidency and continuing virtually during the past year. Her knowledge of MSU and our donors is impressive, and I am grateful that she agreed to stay beyond the original two-year commitment she made when she returned to MSU in 2018. Marti has been a remarkable thinking partner and effective leader, and her commitment ensures she leaves us prepared for the next campaign under new leadership. 

I will personally miss Marti and will always be grateful to her and to her late husband, Bill, for their tireless work supporting this university. Marti is a true Spartan, and I know you will join me in wishing her well as she prepares to conclude her service to her beloved MSU.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him)
President