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Mitchell Neaves Named UVI Director of Major Gifts

The University of the Virgin Islands has named Mitchell Neaves as the director of Major Gifts in the Institutional Advancement component at the institution. In that capacity Neaves will direct the Major Gifts program at UVI. His main responsibility will be developing and executing long and short term strategies to secure major and planned gifts of $10,000 and more. He will also help to plan major events and activities such as capital campaigning.

Neaves said he looks forward to providing leadership in the acquisition of resources to enhance the experience of UVI's students and faculty. "Throughout the Virgin Islands the impact of the University is far reaching, as our alumni serve as community activists, teachers, public servants and business leaders," he said. "Providing our students with the resources to succeed is one of the University's top priorities."

Donations come in various forms. "Anyone having an interest in advancing higher education can support the University as a major donor," Neaves said. "A prospect may not have the cash available, however many have assets such as stock, insurance or real estate, which can be donated through the planning of their estate."

Neaves most recently served as UVI's director of Annual Giving. Since his appointment to that position in 2004, he has led the University's charge in raising more than $1 million each year. He is also responsible for helping the institution to raise the most cash gifts ever, which was during the 2006-2007 year. Neaves was also instrumental in raising money for VI EPSCoR, working with donors to create more than 10 new scholarships and helping to plan the FUVI Celebrity Golf Tournament.

"I realize that I did not do any of these things by myself," Neaves said, acknowledging the support and hard work of members of the Institutional Advancement component specifically and the University in general. "Together we get things done," he said.

UVI's Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Henry Smith said that Neaves' track record is evidence of his potential as the director of Major Gifts. "Under Mr. Neaves' leadership the University expects to meet and surpass fundraising goals,"Dr. Smith said. "Most importantly, the University hopes to cultivate long-lasting relationships with partners in the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, the nation and the world."

A 1989 graduate of the Charlotte Amalie High School on St. Thomas, Neaves holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Michigan State University and a master's degree in Sports Administration and Facility Management from Ohio University. He also earned a certificate in Fundraising Management from The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Prior to joining UVI in 2004, he spent six years as the director of sports marketing at Michigan State. He has also worked at Ohio University. Neaves fills a position that was vacant for more than a year. Neaves' main office is located on UVI's St. Thomas campus.

To speak with Neaves or to make a donation to UVI call the Institutional Advancement office at 693-1046.