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CSUB Announces New Director of Development

Melissa Watkins October 10, 2014 -  The office of University Advancement welcomes Melissa Watkins as the new Director of Development for the CSUB Foundation.  She began her role on October 1, 2014.

In her new role, Watkins will serve as a fundraising leader where she will cultivate, solicit and steward major gift donors to California State University, Bakersfield, specifically in the schools of Social Sciences and Education, and Business and Public Administration, as well as Student Affairs. Reporting to David Melendez, Vice President of University Advancement, Watkins will work with deans, faculty and university administrators, to develop fundraising plans and strategies that can support programmatic and funding priorities that support student, faculty, and academic and community initiatives.

"Melissa's exemplary track record throughout her career is rich with experience that will make the university a greater resource for the community,” said Melendez. “She will be focused on a particular portfolio of work and will be essential to the success of this office.”

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Watkins brings over 10 years of fundraising experience to CSUB, including the planning and management of capital campaigns, annual funds, feasibility studies, and corporate and individual giving strategies. Watkins has helped raise more than $60 million for various nonprofit organizations in the religious, human service, and education sectors. One of her most notable achievements is her work with the Diocese of Davenport where she raised $25 million during a restructuring campaign. Additionally, she has guided major gift fundraising efforts for food banks in both Detroit and Los Angeles raising over $150,000 from strategic donations.

"Witnessing the quality educational experience that CSUB faculty and staff provide to their students is what excites me most about joining the team,‚Äù said Watkins.  ‚ÄúAs the new Director of Development, one of my first goals is to begin forging alliances between the community and CSUB through philanthropy.‚Äù

Watkins received her Bachelor's degree in Business from Central Michigan University and her Master's degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. In her spare time, she is an active member of her community and has been involved with the American Red Cross and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

For More Information

Contact CSUB Public Affairs
(661) 654-2136