Armstrong adjusts to new role as university advancement VP

By Taylor Enyeart

March 19, 2014

Missouri Western welcomes Mike Armstrong to the Griffon family as he takes over the associate vice president of university advancement position.

Armstrong started at Western on Jan. 7 of this year. He was previously a major gift officer at the University of Central Missouri, where he initiated more than 30 new scholarships and endowed funds.

Vice President for University Advancement Jerry Pickman said he was pleased they were able to find someone with so much experience in fundraising for higher education to fill the position.

“In addition to our ongoing efforts to raise private support, we are in the planning stages of a potential capital campaign, and Mike will play a key role,” Pickman said.

At UCM, Armstrong worked closely with some of the university’s biggest private donors to better the relationship between the school and the community. At Western, along with responsibilities as a fundraiser, he will work as a leader in the Division of University Advancement.

The advancement team includes:

  • alumni relations, which work to strengthen alumni engagement and volunteer support

  • campus printing and design services, which create professional, in-house graphic designs

  • development, which works to create a flow of private funding

  • public relations and marketing, which markets the University to both the community and prospective students

  • the Western foundation, whose members govern and invest funds raised to support Western

Armstrong says he has many ideas for advancing Western, but it all starts with help from members of the Western network, including active volunteering.

“We need students, faculty, staff and the community at large to truly embrace the ideals that set Missouri Western apart from other, similar institutions,” Armstrong said. “The mission of our department, essentially of ‘advancing’ Missouri Western, is not something that our staff can accomplish on our own.”

He also said that he wanted to continue the university’s tradition of offering opportunity to people who have the ambition to better themselves and their futures.

Armstrong is excited to be at Western now, as we prepare to celebrate our first one hundred years of history.

“The next century, what we leave behind for the next generation, that is all up to us -- what we aspire to now will set the pace to define the next hundred years,” he said.

Armstrong graduated from Northwest with a B.A. in philosophy and humanities. He is currently living in Leaverton Hall until his wife and two kids join him in St. Joseph.