UMKC Foundation Leadership

Murray Blackwelder, President

Murray Blackwelder

Murray Blackwelder, president, plays an instrumental role in promoting a greater understanding of and support for the university’s mission, goals and major initiatives, and is responsible for meeting the Foundation’s annual fundraising goals.

Blackwelder has devoted his entire career to philanthropy in higher education. Before joining the UMKC Foundation, he was senior vice president for advancement at Purdue University. As Purdue’s lead fundraising executive, he directed a staff of more than 50 professionals to complete a $1.7 billion campaign, further solidifying his reputation as one of the best fundraisers in America. Prior to his tenure at Purdue, Blackwelder was vice president of external affairs at Iowa State University, where he oversaw two separate campaigns that raised more than $600 million. He also has held leadership positions at the Wichita State University Endowment Association, Wichita State University, Rockhurst University and Baker University.

He is an active member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), having served as a CASE National Trustee and in a variety of conference chair positions. Blackwelder is the former president of the Wichita Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). He continues to maintain an active membership in AFP.

Blackwelder holds a master’s degree in public administration from UMKC and a bachelor of science in business administration from Baker University.