Baylor welcomes VP of development

By Emma King, Staff Writer

David Rosselli, the executive director of institutional advancement at the University of Southern California, will be joining the Baylor family as vice president of university development on Nov. 2.

The search for the new vice president of university development began in February, after the previous position holder, Ken Hall, was fired unexpectedly and without much university comment in November 2014.

On Thursday, Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr extended his gratitude to the search committee, chaired by his chief of staff Tommye Lou Davis, for discovering Rosselli.

“They graciously gave their time and talents to assist the university in finding a superb candidate for this important leadership position,” Starr said.

Starr said Rosselli brings exceptional credentials in the area of university philanthropy and has a great understanding of Baylor’s Pro Futuris mission.

Rosselli was born and raised in California. He has never lived in Texas, but said he and his wife are looking forward to moving to Waco.

“We’re very excited about working in an environment where academic excellence and the Christian faith can intertwine in a very bold and profound way,” Rosselli said. “This will be the first opportunity for me to work at a Christian institution.”

When Rosselli begins working at Baylor, he will be heading up Baylor’s “From Here We Build” campaign to raise $320 million in support of student scholarships and faculty, enhancements to student life, academic and program development and capital projects. Rosselli will be in charge of a 70-member developmental staff that has already achieved the most successful two-year period of fundraising in university history ($345.3 million from Feb. 1, 2012, through Feb. 28, 2014.)

“I will come in and I’ll help support that operation, help support that staff, and where there’s a need to make some changes or tweaks we’ll do that,” Rosselli said. “My role is just to learn how Baylor is doing things so well right now and bring my expertise in regard to the experience I have at larger institutions.”

Since 2011, during his time at USC, Rosselli managed the development operations and staff for the university’s Northern California advancement office in San Francisco. While there, he coordinated all USC activities in that part of the state and dealt with donations, events and programs. Rosselli was also the architect of USC’s Northern California strategic vision in support of the university’s $6 billion campaign.

Before he joined USC, Rosselli was responsible for all areas of campaign development and fundraising for the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific. He pioneered a plan and raised the $150 million necessary to relocate the school to downtown San Francisco.

“We are delighted that Dave answered the call to come to Baylor and lead the university’s strategic development initiatives into the future,” Starr said.

Rosselli said he is looking forward to building intimate relationships and being part of a community, both at Baylor and in Waco.

Rosselli also said it will be great to get to know people and he considers it a privilege to be chosen to work at such a beloved university.