University News

Murtagh Named Interim VP for Advancement & Alumni Relations at WIU

May 17, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Mike Murtagh (Murr-TAU), former senior vice president for institutional advancement at Eureka (IL) College, has been named the interim vice president for advancement and alumni relations (VPAAR) at Western Illinois University, effective June 13. He will serve in the position for one year. A national search is expected to commence during the 2022-2023 academic year.

Murtagh served in the role at Eureka College from June 2009 until his retirement in December 2020. During his tenure at Eureka, he implemented a fundraising strategy that resulted in $33 million raised over a 10-year period. He also cultivated the largest gift in the college's 163-year history, which exceeded $7 million.

"I'm so happy to officially launch the re-establishment of the reorganized Division for Advancement and Alumni Relations at Western. I'm thrilled that Mr. Murtagh has agreed to lead the division through this next important phase, which includes the kickoff of WIU's next capital campaign," said WIU President Guiyou Huang. "Mike's many years of experience and his in-depth knowledge of fundraising and donor support will serve WIU well."

Murtagh also completed numerous building projects at Eureka including the construction of a new academic building and a residence hall and the renovation of the school's athletic complex. These projects were the result of $11 million in philanthropic support. He also increased Eureka College's annual fund support by 24 percent, and increased alumni participation by 32 percent.

Prior to joining Eureka College, he was the executive director of development at Loras College for three years, and as the senior director of marketing and development for the Leukemia Research Foundation in Glenview for one year. Murtagh has also worked as the director of development, admissions and alumni relations at St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago and the director of government sales for Dartnell Corp. in Chicago.

A U.S. Navy veteran, serving as a naval officer from 1976-1996, Murtagh earned his bachelor's degree from Villanova.

The VPAAR at WIU is responsible for overseeing Alumni Relations, Foundation and Development and the Scholarship Office. The vice president, who serves as a member of the senior leadership team, reports to the president.

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