After a national search, the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point has named a Stevens Point native and UW-Stevens Point alumnus to head its fundraising and alumni relations operation.
Christopher Richards brings more than 20 years of experience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to his new role as vice chancellor for University Advancement at UW-Stevens Point. Since 1989, Richards worked closely with a portfolio of major donors as a development director, managed a $1.86 billion capital campaign, and been part of the UW Foundation leadership team, ultimately serving as a vice president.
“Chris’ ties to the community and the university are certainly a plus,” said Chancellor Bernie Patterson. “His extensive expertise in all facets of fundraising will be of great benefit to the university. We are thrilled to have him as part of the leadership and the advancement teams.”
A graduate of Stevens Point Area Senior High, Richards studied communication at UW-Stevens Point, was a manager at the campus radio station, WWSP, and participated in the university's study abroad program.
Richards met his wife, Marie, while working as a news anchor and reporter at WSPT/WXYQ radio in Stevens Point. After a stint as a producer, news anchor and general assignment reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio, Richards moved into fundraising for WPR, securing corporate support for the statewide radio network. After nearly five years in that capacity, he joined the UW Foundation as director of development for the UW Law School.
“Being able to provide opportunities for future generations of Pointers excites me,” said Richards. “As someone who spent most of my formative years in Stevens Point, I look forward to the opportunity to strengthen community and university partnerships throughout the region.”
Richards takes the reins of the university advancement office upon the retirement of Interim Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Kathy Buenger. “Kathy raised the bar in how development work is done at our university,” said Patterson. “She put in place the critical infrastructure we need to move forward.”
Buenger will continue to advise and consult with the UWSP Foundation on an as-needed basis. Richards begins his new position on January 14, 2013.