Ferris State University President David Eisler today announced the appointment of
Shelly Armstrong as vice president for University Advancement and Marketing, effective
Armstrong has been serving as interim vice president since 2012, in addition to retaining
her role as associate vice president for Marketing and Communications. Armstrong previously
served as interim vice president from 2008-09.
In making the announcement, Eisler said, “In her work as vice president, Shelly Armstrong
has effectively moved forward Ferris State University’s branding and marketing efforts.
Her leadership with fundraising is credited with significantly increasing donor support
for the university. Shelly is a highly respected, experienced and skillful administrator
with intimate knowledge of Ferris. She is committed and passionate about our mission,
vision and core values and has done a remarkable job in providing stability and consistency
for the division. I very much look forward to working with her.”
“I am incredibly excited to play a major role in positioning Ferris for growth through
highly effective fundraising, marketing and communications, and alumni relations,”
Armstrong said. “I look forward to continuing to build on the excellent work being
accomplished throughout the division and the university and to partner with our donors,
alumni, volunteers, academic and administrative leadership, and dedicated faculty
and staff to advance Ferris,” Armstrong said. “It is an exciting time for Ferris as
we embrace a new strategic plan for the university and the perfect opportunity to
take Ferris to the next level of fundraising, alumni engagement and marketing success.”
Armstrong will lead a staff of more than 30, which includes Advancement and its functions
of annual giving, advancement services, athletics giving, corporate and foundation
relations, major giving, planned giving, research and prospect management, special
and leadership gifts, and stewardship and donor relations; Alumni Relations; and Marketing
and Communications and its units of marketing client services, news services/social
media, photographic services/multi-media, and Web services. Armstrong also will work
closely with The Ferris Foundation and the Alumni Association Boards and their executive
directors and volunteers to expand and strengthen volunteer engagement and advance
key fundraising initiatives.
Under Armstrong’s interim leadership, she led a significant reorganization of the
Advancement operation that included centralizing college-based advancement officers
and creating stand-alone annual giving and stewardship and donor relations units;
developing policies and procedures for prioritizing fundraising initiatives and improving
the coordination of fundraising across the university; reinstituting a donor recognition
program; establishing an on-campus student call center for annual giving; and directing
an award-winning marketing brand campaign for the university.
Armstrong noted, “Our ability to secure more scholarship support for our students,
in particular, is more critical than ever for us to continue to attract, retain and
graduate our students, who are leaving Ferris with significant debt. It is an ideal
time for the university community to become united and work ambitiously toward generating
greater resources and opportunities for our students and academic programs,” Armstrong
Armstrong came to Ferris in 2002 as associate vice president for University Advancement
and Marketing and has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. She holds
bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University in journalism/public
relations and college student personnel, respectively. She most recently completed
a comprehensive leadership development program through the Center for Creative Leadership.
Armstrong is engaged to Wes Pearcy, formerly of Muskegon, and lives in Rockford.