University News

Baker Named Acting Senior Executive Director of Development

June 11, 2019

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MACOMB, IL -- Julie Baker, former development director for the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) at Western Illinois University, has been named acting senior executive director of development for the Office of University Advancement, effective June 11.

Baker, a 2005 graduate of WIU with a degree in music business and a minor in marketing, served as the COFAC development director and Performing Arts Society (PAS) Executive Director from January 2016 through February 2019.

During her time in COFAC, Baker worked and collaborated with alumni, donors, colleagues, and Macomb community members to advance the college, the Performing Arts Society and the University. Through her leadership, strategic planning and coordination, Baker implemented and completed many fundraising initiatives for the educational experience of current and future WIU students. Together, with the COFAC administrative team, faculty members, students and the Performing Arts Society Board of Directors, Baker helped grow PAS through increased income, updated events, community relevance and programs offered.

"Julie's experience and her commitment to service will allow the office to continue its outstanding advancement and development efforts, and further build on the development office's record of success," said WIU President Thomas. "She has a proven track record of developing relationships and securing funds toward specific, strategic projects."

In her role in the College of Fine Arts and Communication, Baker was responsible for establishing numerous endowed scholarships, the Mavigliano/Brabec Senior Art Prize, Steinway pianos for the School of Music, updated equipment for the sport broadcasting and broadcasting programs, scholarships for the Department of Communication, equipment for the Department of Art, crowd-funding campaigns, raising funds to fully fund the initiatives of the Performing Arts Society and applying for and receiving funds through numerous foundation and federal grants.

"Throughout my career in non-profit administration and higher education, I have developed and implemented effective, strategic plans, using limited resources to create numerous relationships with donors, community members, and other individuals," Baker said. "I look forward to using my experiences to continue the initiatives of the Office of University Advancement."

Working together with the COFAC dean and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Baker also spearheaded the 2018 Economic Impact Report for the Center for Performing Arts, helped draft a petition to the Governor urging support for the CPA, and led a committee of community members to create a resurgence of energy for the project.

Before joining WIU as the COFAC development director, Baker worked for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra as development and special events manager and as marketing director. Prior to her work with the orchestra, Baker was the special project manager for the Elgin Choral Union, operations director of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and artist coordinator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She also served as an intern with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra following graduation from Western Illinois University.

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