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Meet Reede Webster

The college’s new advancement director shares his thoughts on how to build support for CBS students, education and research.

Reede Webster has led the stateside operations for a MnSCU campus in Japan, led a $15 million capital campaign, and raised funds to cover tuition for more than 3,000 low-income students and student of color. For more than a decade, Reede Webster served as executive director and dean of external relations of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Foundation. Now, the Carlson School of Management alum and former Humphrey School of Public Affairs policy fellow is drawing on his higher education advancement expertise to build the CBS donor base, develop strategic development goals for the college, and cultivate new relationships with corporate funders. Webster shared his thoughts on fostering support and the opportunities he sees for CBS.

You spent more than a decade in an advancement leadership role at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. What attracted you to the College of Biological Sciences?

I have a passion for education. Colleges and universities are unique places where students come to learn, to better themselves and to make their community (global or local), a better place. I have had the privilege of working in several higher education environments including the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system office, Minnesota State University - Akita, and Minneapolis Community and Technical College. I have enjoyed them all.

In my short time with CBS, I have been impressed! The research around here is incredible, the students are talented, and I am excited about the new vision of Dean Valery Forbes.

You have had great success securing major gifts and building a base of individual donors. In your experience, what works when it comes to collegiate giving?

Nothing is more successful than bringing potential donors to campus to learn about the vision; and to meet with students. I had my first CBS student meet a donor this week and it more than proves this theory. More broadly, having a strategic fundraising plan aligned with the mission and vision of CBS is paramount. From that, you need a tactical plan to reach annual goals.

What advancement opportunities do you see for the College of Biological Sciences?

I see opportunities to both reconnect with current donors and build a pipeline of new major gifts and alumni support. With current and proposed capital building projects, there also may be opportunities to build our corporate funding base.  

I am just getting started, but am excited to be part of CBS!