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Sept. 13, 2012 Volume 34, No. 4

Vice chancellor settling in to new position

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Thomas Hiles. Photo courtesy of MU News


SEC move helping attract southeastern donors

It was 104 degrees in July on Thomas Hiles’ first day on the job at Mizzou. After his move from Bowling Green, Ohio, it was an exceptionally warm mid-Missouri welcome for the newly appointed vice chancellor for development and alumni relations. 

Hiles is busy with the second major fundraising campaign at the university in recent years. The first one, under the direction of David Housh, who retired last March, raised more than $1 billion. 

The campaign is in the “quiet phase” right now, which typically lasts three years. Hiles and Chancellor Brady J. Deaton are traveling the nation talking to donors about what they would like to see accomplished at Mizzou. Fundraising is part of both the quiet and public phases of the campaign. 

Fundraising campaigns are nothing new to Hiles. He has been part of them for 27 years, including most recently at Bowling Green State University. “This is my third vice president role,” Hiles said. “Hopefully I’ve learned a little bit from previous occurrences.”

The campaign is engaging new donors, especially in the South. Mizzou’s inclusion in the Southeastern Conference has generated interest among MU graduates in Atlanta and other SEC cities with established MU alumni chapters, Hiles said. 

When Hiles isn’t fundraising, he and his wife, MU journalism assistant professor Sara Shipley Hiles, burn off stress and get exercise by cycling. Hiles is also an avid book reader.

But his passion is most evident on workdays. 

“I think I have the best job at the university,” Hiles said. 

— Ashley Carman