Cindy Williams has been named the new President and CEO of the UM Foundation, and she already knows her way around the office, since she's been with the foundation since 2006.

"I've been with the foundation for over 11 years, since 2006, "Williams said. "I first the Director of Development working for the School of Business Administration. Over the last decade, I've moved in my position to Senior Director of Development, Associate Vice President, and most recently as Vice President overseeing our fundraising staff to work closely with our schools, colleges and athletics on campus."

Williams knows that enrollment rises and falls, but private support is a constant for UM.

"I understand that private support is more important now than ever before," she said. "We work with donors who are passionate about the work that the university does, who are interested in investing in our students, our faculty, research and programs here. We also manage the university's endowment that provides annual support, and also hold private funds on behalf of the campus, and distribute those to them as they are ready to expend them."

After significant gifts in the past few years from the Franke, Blewett and Gilkey families, Williams said she is confident that even more support if forthcoming for the university.

"Our alumni nare so passionate about this university," she continued. "They believe in the power of this campus to change lives, to elevate economic potential in Montana, to develop new knowledge through the research the university does, that they have given more than ever before. Over the last three years private support for the university has exceeded $50 million in each of the last three years, and I don't think we've reached that high water mark yet."

Williams will officially assume her duties as president and CEO on June 1.

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