The Texas A&M Foundation's senior vice president for administration and operations has been appointed president of the University of New Mexico (UNM) Foundation. John R. Stropp tendered his resignation on Thursday after 24 years of service to Texas A&M's major gift fundraising organization.
Stropp joined the Foundation in 1984 as vice president for finance and administration after almost 20 years in industry. During his time at the Foundation, assets have grown from $70 million to $1.3 billion. He has helped guide Texas A&M through two major capital campaigns and an era of tremendous growth and change in higher education philanthropy. He served as interim president of the Texas A&M Foundation for a year while Dr. Ed Davis ’67 took leave to work as the university's interim president.
"John Stropp is one of the longest serving members of the Foundation team and he will be sorely missed," Davis said. "He has contributed greatly to the growth and success of both the Foundation's investment management and the systems and procedures that have served our donors and fundraisers. We wish him well in this new phase of his career and look forward to working together as professional colleagues."
Stropp, a 1966 graduate of Texas A&M University, has served as senior vice president for administration and operations of the Foundation since 1997. In that role he has provided leadership to senior staff; coordinated board/committee meetings; directed investments, finance, real estate and human resource activities; and worked closely with the executive staff and Board of Trustees to establish and implement policy. Stropp also has a master's degree in business administration from Texas A&M.
"Being part of the Texas A&M Foundation's development has been such a joy and a tremendous opportunity," Stropp said. "I am thankful to have worked with such an outstanding and committed staff that understands the importance of private funding for higher education. Although I have accepted an exciting challenge in another state, I am a devout and loyal former student of Texas A&M University, and part of my heart will forever remain in Aggieland."
Beginning June 1, Stropp will be the first president employed by the private, nonprofit UNM Foundation that exists for the sole benefit of raising major gift funds for UNM. The change is a result of a vote by that foundation's Board of Trustees to streamline its operations in preparation for a major capital campaign — only the second in the university's history. The UNM Foundation board is governed by 42 trustees.
According to the UNM Web site, last year the university raised $72.5 million in gifts from 19,500 donors. This represents an increase of more than $24 million over the previous year. It manages an endowment worth about $325 million. With four branch campuses, UNM is the state's flagship research institute, with a fall 2007 enrollment of 32,000.
Stropp and his wife, Dianne, who has a psychology degree from A&M, have been active in the Bryan-College Station community for many years. John has been involved in Voices for Children, the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, the Brazos Valley Symphony and the Rotary Club of College Station. He also recently served as chairman of the National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations. Dianne has served The Prenatal Clinic, the Arts Council of Brazos Valley and the Woman's Club. The Stropps have two sons, Hunter and Heath, both of whom have graduate degrees from Texas A&M, and three grandchildren.