ECE ILLINOIS hires Steve George as new senior director of advancement
Meg Dickinson, ECE ILLINOIS
- ECE ILLINOIS' new Senior Director of Advancement Steve George will broadly engage alumni.
- George loves finding creative ways to connect alumni with students and faculty.
- George has worked in advancement at Berklee School of Music, Roosevelt University, and most recently, the Illinois Institute of Technology.
ECE ILLINOIS’ newest hire, Senior Director of Advancement Steve George, is passionate about relationships in higher education.
George will broadly engage alumni for gifts of time, talent and resources.
“I want to make an impact on a larger community of people, including the students and faculty,” he said, “and build relationships with alumni, corporations, and friends.”
He especially loves finding creative ways to connect alumni with students and faculty. For example, at IIT, he once invited to campus an alumna who managed thousands of people in industry and later went to work for a clean-energy startup.
She gave a talk about entrepreneurship after making her mark on a large company, and spoke to female students about how she navigated a career in engineering and business. She addressed faculty members about her sustainable-energy research, as well.
“She had a great impact on all those audiences, and hopefully inspired them,” George said.
He’s looking forward to continuing that work at Illinois, where he’s excited to work at both a Top 5 engineering school that’s also a well-rounded, prestigious university.
“I like the holistic university setting,” George said.
George is a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, where he studied vocal performance. There, his work-study job in the development office helped him understand that scholarships aren’t just about money, but also the people who make them possible.
That experience eventually led to his first job at Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he became the director of annual giving.
“I learned as much as I could about all aspects of development, fundraising, and alumni at Berklee,” George said. But after four years, George was homesick for the Midwest, and took a job as director of annual giving at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
In 2006, IIT recruited him to become a major gift officer. He liked the environment of collaboration that developed during his time there.
He said he’s excited about the collaborative culture at Illinois, and he’s found those he’s worked with so far to be “positive and enthusiastic.”
George, while previously working for IIT as a whole, found electrical and computer engineering to be one of his favorite areas of science and technology.
I’m passionate about higher ed, particularly about STEM and where technology intersects with our everyday lives,” George said.
George grew up in West Allis, Wis., which is near Milwaukee. He and wife Wendy have been married since August 2008, and they have a Brittany spaniel named Sadie. Wendy is a science teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.
“I’m well-rounded in that I like to sing and am open-minded about any type of music. In addition to singing, I am also really interested in music composition, theory, and acoustics,” he said. “I play basketball, volleyball and tennis whenever I can – I used to play competitively in high school.”
He is the cantor at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church and serves on its Finance Committee. George is a management fellow and board member of the Development Leadership Consortium (DLC). He also continues to be a fan of Sprecher beer, root beer, and cream soda, which is brewed in Milwaukee.
ECE ILLINOIS Interim Department Head William H. Sanders said the addition of George to lead the department’s advancement team will ensure that the department will further broaden and deepen its connection with alumni.
“Steve has a proven history of successful development in higher education, particularly in the fields of science and technology,” Sanders said. “His work will ensure alumni gifts of time, talent, advocacy, and financial resources will strengthen the department as a whole.”