Brent Dunn, a Missouri State University leader for nearly four decades, announced his retirement from the school as he prepares to take a job with the Missouri State Fair Foundation.
Dunn, 61, currently executive director of the MSU Foundation and vice president of university advancement, is scheduled to retire Aug. 1, 2023, according to a news release.
“In his 38-year career at MSU, Brent has accomplished more than anyone ever thought possible,” MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. “He is the university’s greatest advocate and has been tremendously important to our success."
In an interview with Springfield Business Journal this morning, Dunn said he's scheduled to start in June as director of development for the Missouri State Fair Foundation.
There, he will lead an effort to install a fundraising program to grow the fair held in Sedalia.
"They are expanding the fairgrounds itself. They're building a new arena," Dunn said. "They are really going to go into a big growth spurt."
Dunn said he wasn't looking to leave MSU when the fair opportunity came about this spring. He decided the time was right after helping to spearhead a recently concluded capital campaign at MSU that brought in commitments tallying $274 million, ahead of its $250 million goal.
"That's sort of a natural time as we end a large fundraising effort," Dunn said. "That's a good time to either turn to the next chapter or continue on."
At MSU, Dunn started in 1985 as director of annual giving. He later became athletics development director until assuming the MSU Foundation executive director position in 2007, according to the release.
The university plans to conduct a national search to find Dunn's successor.
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