For full functionality of this page, it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser
Sept 2014 Horizon Header


WSU Foundation on the move with new leaders, staffing changes

The WSU Foundation recently hired three new people and moved one staff member to a new position.

Joseph Hunter, vice president for development

Joseph Hunter, vice president for development

    Joseph comes to the WSU Foundation from Western Washington University, where he was senior director/associate vice president of development. Before that, he served more than 10 years in various development roles. Joseph received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Dayton and he has two master’s degrees, one in philosophy and one in public administration, both from Virginia Tech. He is completing his Certificate in Executive Management from Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia.

Joseph calls his new position “a dream job.”

“When I started exploring the position, I was quickly captivated by what I saw as a university on the precipice of a period of real growth and advancement,” he says.

Working with donors who want to help take WSU to new heights is both humbling and gratifying, he says.

“I never cease to be touched by the generosity of those individuals who entrust an organization to a) make optimal use of their resources and b) to further a shared interest in making a profound, tangible impact in the lives of others,” Joseph says.

At the WSU Foundation, Joseph will be responsible for the sustainment and growth of major-gift fundraising, enhancing the Annual Giving for Excellence program and overseeing the fundraising activities of the development staff. He will also assist in the development and implementation of a strategic plan for the Foundation’s comprehensive campaign.

Keith Pickus, v.p. for corporate and foundation relations

Keith Pickus, vice president for corporate and foundation relations

    Keith is well-known to many WSU friends and donors. He has filled important interim roles for the university in recent years, including as provost from 2011-2013 and as dean of the College of Health Professions from 2013-2014.

His new responsibilities at the WSU Foundation will include strategizing, organizing and implementing a robust corporate and foundation fundraising program.

“I believe my in-depth knowledge of the university’s academic operations and personnel make me uniquely qualified to connect faculty expertise with the needs of our corporate and foundation partners,” Keith says.

Pickus received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Washington — all focusing on history. Before coming to Wichita State in 1995 as a history professor, he taught history at the University of Washington and Montana State University.

Kara Johnson, director of special events

Kara Johnson, director of special events

    Kara most recently was associate director of new student orientation at Friends University. She also has been an adjunct instructor at Southwestern College, where she earned a master’s degree in leadership in 2012. Kara received her bachelor’s degree in general studies from WSU in 2006.

At the WSU Foundation, Kara will plan and oversee all of the organization’s special events, including luncheons and receptions that bring together donors and their scholarship recipients; dinners recognizing Fairmount Society and President’s Club members; the annual Society of 1895 ceremony; the Faculty of Excellence luncheon; and more.

“My passion for higher education, event planning and building lasting relationships have led me to a wonderful opportunity with the WSU Foundation,” Kara says. “I feel truly blessed to be part of a robust, steadfast and gracious team. I look forward to contributing to the success of the Foundation.”

Stacie Williamson, leadership annual giving officer

Stacie Williamson, leadership annual giving officer

    Stacie was director of special events for the WSU Foundation the past four years. In her new role, she will be a fundraiser for mid-level gifts to Wichita State University. A Wichita native, Stacie is a 2005 graduate of WSU with a Bachelor of Business Administration, emphasis in marketing.

“While I thoroughly enjoyed planning the Foundation’s special events, I look forward to building upon the relationships I have developed with many of our donors in a new capacity,” Stacie says. “We are fortunate to work with so many selfless, giving individuals. Their passion for supporting the education of others inspires me on a daily basis.”