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Clayton State appoints new vice president

Kate Troelstra has been appointed as the next Vice President for External Relations at Clayton State University, according to school President Tim Hynes.

John Shiffert, director of university relations, said Troelstra will start her new position on June 1, replacing the departing vice president, Brigadier General (Ret.) Robert L. “Steve” Stephens, who will retire on June 30, after 10 years at Clayton State.

Stephens started at Clayton State in the fall of 2002, serving as director of academic advisement for the College of Business, and as a visiting assistant professor. He was appointed executive assistant to then-president Dr. Thomas K. Harden in April 2005 and began serving as interim vice president of External Relations in September 2006. He was appointed vice president by Harden in November 2008.

“I am daily grateful for the work that General Steve Stephens has done in leading that division for the last several years,” said Hynes. “I am also grateful for the exceptional work that the search committee did to make this a most successful search.”

Troelstra is currently the senior director of development at Clemson University, where she oversees prospect research, manages hiring, orientation, and professional development; prepares most reports and analysis for the campaign and reinvestment fee, and carries a portfolio of major gift prospects focused mainly in Atlanta. 

At Clayton State, Shiffert said, she will be responsible for a wide range of relationship-building functions, including the University’s Development, Alumni Relations, Image and Communications, and University Relations offices.

“Ms. Troelstra brings to us a wealth of experience in external affairs activities,” said Hynes. “Her visits to campus drew enthusiastic and positive responses from a large number of colleagues. We are excited to watch her build on the efforts in communication and development already begun here at Clayton State University.”

Troelstra is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she began her development career there as a phonathon caller and later phonathon supervisor, said Shiffert.

“Since graduation, she has been in development for more than 20 years, spending seven years in annual giving before moving into major gifts,” said Shiffert. “She has experience in a wide range of fund-raising settings including liberal arts colleges, public research universities, professional schools, and independent schools.”

He said before joining the development staff at Clemson in September 2008, Troelstra was at Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., for 10 years — first as associate director of Development/director of Major Gifts, and then as assistant headmaster for Development.

“[Troelstra] was responsible for all development, alumni, and communications programs,” said Shiffert. “Prior to assuming the position of assistant headmaster, she managed a significant portfolio of major gifts prospects, was responsible for all campaign events and directed all prospect and volunteer management.”

He said Troelstra professional experience also includes managing a team of 1,500 volunteers as associate director of Annual Giving at Rutgers University and implementing a volunteer structure for both annual and major gifts as a major gifts officer at The Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University.

Shiffert said Troelstra noted that throughout her career she has concentrated her efforts, not so much on fund-raising, but on building relationships. Troelstra is active in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), serving two terms as treasurer for District III and conference co-chair for the 2011 Joint District III/IV Conference. 

“As a speaker, she has spoken at the Summer Institute in Educational Fundraising, District III, CASE/NAIS, CASE Newcomers in Development and CASE Campaign Strategies Conferences on topics including campaigns, volunteer management, and annual fund,” said Shiffert. “In 2007, she received CASE’s Crystal Apple award for excellence in teaching.”