Columbus State Hires New VP for University Advancement

From the Columbus State University Website

COLUMBUS, Ga. — After a nationwide search, Columbus State University has hired Paul “Rocky” Kettering III as its new vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Columbus State University Foundation Inc.

Kettering is currently the vice president of development and external relations at the Texas State Aquarium who has directed and raised more than $150 million in capital campaigns and fundraising initiatives during his 17-plus years as an institutional leader.

CSU’s vice president for University Advancement is a senior-level administrator reporting directly to the president and is an active participant on the university’s Executive Leadership Team. He directs all of the university’s fundraising efforts and leads a division that includes development, alumni relations and advancement services.

Kettering will be responsible for finishing the university’s comprehensive “First Choice” campaign with a goal of more than $100 million. He will start in early July.

“We had great deal of interest in the position because of this campaign, this university and this community,” said CSU President Chris Markwood. “With his experience and his expertise, Dr. Kettering stood out to many of us as the best person to come in and continue to cultivate the amazing tradition of public-private partnerships here. I am very excited to have Rocky join our CSU family.”

Kettering has been at the Texas State Aquarium since 2013, directing a staff of more than 20 employees and leading a $50 million campaign to expand the non-profit center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Before moving to Corpus Christi, Kettering spent six years in San Antonio, leading fundraising efforts for St. Mary’s University and Our Lady of the Lake University. He has also held development positions at the University of Southern Mississippi, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta and Cathedral High School in Natchez, Miss.

“I could not be more excited about this opportunity,” Kettering said. “We were so impressed with Columbus and CSU when we were there. The more I learn about the people there and the legacy that’s been created, the more fortunate I feel about joining the team. My uncle, Dr. Ron Kettering, was a professor in the business school for many years, and still lives in the community. Having family connections in Columbus and Atlanta is not only important to us, but I get a real sense that the family culture is very important and evident at CSU too. My wife, children and I are very excited about joining the CSU family.”

Kettering has a doctorate of education in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a master’s in philanthropy and development from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University. He also is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.