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Our Culture

Working at University Advancement is all about sharing success. We find ways to collaborate, grow our connections and share information. We do this to enrich the future of Michigan State University through philanthropy and engagement. 

Every day we seek to connect with people who are passionate about MSU. We build partnerships with those who share in our purpose to make a positive difference in the world through research, teaching and outreach. We believe in using data to make our decisions and problem solve. We also believe this combination of passion, teamwork and purpose are at the root of our growth and success.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to advance Michigan State’s excellence and enrich its future. And our vision is to build the best culture of engagement and philanthropy of any major public university in the country.

Values and Beliefs

  • Respectful
    We develop relationships and partnerships that are built on trust, cooperation and honesty.
  • Accountable
    We honor our agreements and deliver on our promises.
  • Collaborative
    We work with each other toward common goals and to fully leverage the collective genius of the UA team.
  • Open-Minded
    We refuse to be limited by our current beliefs and established practices.
  • Creative
    We are eager to discover new insights and break new ground.
  • Passionate
    We believe in the work we do at MSU and are champions for the cause.
  • Committed
    We delight donors, customers and colleagues by regularly meeting and exceeding their expectations.


Fulfilling our mission requires us to develop genuine, trust-based partnerships internally and externally. We accomplish this through a central-decentralized model in which every person values one another. This way of working allows us to foster openness, flexibility, cooperation and honesty.


Our team is diverse. We are thinkers and doers; patient and determined; creative and analytical. Yet through all this diversity we share common virtues of curiosity, tenacity, collaboration and accountability.


We are fortunate to have one of the largest and most beautiful campuses in the world. University Advancement is on the MSU campus in East Lansing. Our central office is in Spartan Stadium. This amazing location reminds us every day just how lucky we are to work for Michigan State. We are also proud to coordinate our work with staff located in each college and unit along with a regionally placed development and alumni engagement team.