Announcing SVP for University Advancement Peter J. Wilch

Dear LMU Community:

With excitement and anticipation, I announce that Peter Wilch will be our next senior vice president for University Advancement, effective March 29, 2021. After considering many factors, including feedback from our trustees, senior leaders, donors, and search panelists, I am confident SVP Wilch’s fervor for successful fundraising outcomes, tactical savvy, and organizational leadership prowess will inspire a culture of philanthropy as we embark on the most ambitious and transformative comprehensive campaign in the university’s history.

SVP Wilch brings more than 20 years of fundraising experience to LMU, including leadership roles in several campaigns. He joins us from the University of San Francisco, where he has served as vice president for development since 2012. At USF he shepherded staff expansion, doubled fundraising revenue, bolstered infrastructure through two database conversions, successfully planned and launched USF’s most ambitious comprehensive campaign, and met or exceeded revenue results each year. Even against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, his teams achieved and exceeded campaign targets, including securing 48 gifts of $1 million or more and over $100 million in new commitments to support student scholarships and financial aid.

Before joining USF, SVP Wilch was vice president for alumni and college advancement at Cornell College in Iowa, where he led a $92 million campaign to a $105.8 million total. Prior to his tenure at Cornell College, he served as executive director of development at the University of Iowa Foundation for the University of Iowa College of Law, where he raised $48.4 million toward a $35 million campaign goal as part of the university-wide $1 billion campaign. Earlier in his career he helped to secure leadership gifts for science and athletic facility campaigns at Grinnell College in Iowa.

SVP Wilch is active in several professional organizations, including the Jesuit Advancement Association (JAA) and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). As an exemplar in living our mission, he serves as a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of Catholic Charities of San Francisco, the largest social service agency in San Francisco. SVP Wilch is also an alumnus of the AJCU Ignatian Colleagues Program, an experience he terms as “transformative” and as having “deeply informed” his approach to leadership. SVP Wilch’s service-mindedness is also embodied in the 10 current chief development officers whom he mentored, who now serve throughout the country.

SVP Wilch earned his B.A. in philosophy and politics from Cornell College. He is the proud father of four Jesuit-educated children, including USF alumni Alex, Lauren, and Peyton, and current Regis University in Denver student Evan, and a Jesuit-educated daughter-in-law, Alex’s spouse Daniela. In his free time SVP Wilch is an avid reader, runner, and cook, and he enjoys travel abroad with his family.

I thank SVP John Kiralla of Marketing, Communications, and External Relations and interim SVP for University Advancement, and Lynne Scarboro, CAO and EVP and Advancement executive advisor, for their leadership and counsel during these past months. Their skilled management of the UA team during an essential transition helped us retune our approach to the campaign, strengthen the organization, and identify a talented leader who reflects our commitments and ambitions. SVP Kiralla will work with SVP Wilch to ensure a seamless transition. I also thank and applaud our UA senior team and colleagues: through these changes, your positivity, resilience, and engagement with our constituents has been and will continue to be central to our fundraising successes. 

SVP Wilch’s more than 20 years of advancement experience in higher education, his inspired leadership of and dedication to advancing Jesuit education through philanthropy, and his zeal for our mission will strengthen relationships with our community and build upon the early successes of our campaign. 

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of our executive leadership team, Peter, his partner Regina Doody, and children Alex (daughter-in-law Dani), Lauren, Peyton, and Evan, to the LMU Lion family.

With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.