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Director of Development, The Shepherd School of Music

Rice University
Texas, United States
$120,000.00 - $140,000.00
Closing date
Mar 22, 2023

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The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with Rice University in the search for a Director of Development, The Shepherd School of Music.

Reporting to the Senior Assistant Dean, the Director of Development will serve as the chief development officer for The Shepherd School of Music and will plan, organize, and manage the development functions of the school including complex major gift support within a university setting. The Director of Development will provide critical strategic leadership for an advancement program that incorporates development and external relations goals. The Director of Development will manage development staff; oversee the membership and annual fund function for the school; and identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major donor prospects capable of gifts at the $100,000 to $4.9 million level. The Director of Development will be knowledgeable of the performing arts and classical music philanthropic landscape and an excellent relationship builder that has experience developing and implementing fundraising strategies to secure major operational and programmatic commitments for special initiatives. 

The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University cultivates the mastery of musical performance, combining a conservatory experience with the educational opportunities of a leading research university. Guided by a belief that talent manifests along unique paths, The Shepherd School of Music limits its student body to 290 gifted young musicians. Each music major is provided access to world class teachers dedicated to cultivating talent and professional success. The faculty at The Shepherd School is known for their individual instruction and for equipping musicians with the skills and experience necessary to develop their own esteemed careers. In just over four decades The Shepherd School of Music has become a leading international music school, making it both one of the youngest and one of the most prestigious university-level programs in the country. A consistently highly ranked school of music, The Shepherd School is currently number five in the Niche list of best music schools in America.

Rice University is a private, comprehensive research university, offering undergraduate or graduate degrees across six schools. Rice's robust curriculum provides a vast array of courses leading to a holistic undergraduate experience that equips its students with the knowledge, skills, and values to make a distinctive impact in the world. Located on a 300-acre tree-lined campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Rice University views diversity, equity, and inclusion as a central and meaningful part of the overall university experience. It believes these values increase the vitality of everything it does—education, scholarship, service, and community.

A bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required for this position as is at least seven years of professional development work with five years of direct major gift fundraising experience, preferably within performing arts or higher education. Familiarity with the Houston arts and cultural philanthropy landscape is a plus. All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and resume. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of The Shepherd School of Music as well as the responsibilities and qualifications stated in the position prospectus.

The salary range for this position is $120,000 to $140,000 annually.

Preference will be given to applications received by March 28, 2023.

To apply for this position, visit:

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