Getting to Know: advancement officer Brian Keehner  

May 15, 2023 

New development officer joins College of Engineering 

Brian Keehner has tried different jobs through the years, but his passion for fundraising in higher education always seems to win out.

Brian Keehner
Brian Keehner

Keehner is the new associate director of development in the College of Engineering.

He has cycled in and out of MSU since receiving a bachelor’s degree in advertising in 2010. He also earned a master’s in marketing research in 2018 at MSU.

As a Spartan student, he didn’t know that one of his first jobs would become a career pathway for him.

“When I was an undergraduate, my student job was a fundraiser in MSU’s Telefund. After graduating, I moved to Chicago and managed DePaul University’s Telefund Program until 2015. Then I returned to MSU as a fundraiser in the Development Associate Program, a 12-month program created to attract, recruit and train major gift fundraisers new to the industry.

“In 2016, I accepted a position as the assistant director of development in the Broad College of Business then, in 2018, I jumped at the opportunity to launch Michigan State’s Spartan Parent & Family Development Office.”

Keehner said he’s been impressed with his initial look at the College of Engineering.

“Before applying to this position, I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Demmer Student Activities Center last fall. I was so excited to see the opportunities it will offer the college and our students.

“The first event I attended as an official College of Engineering employee was the Dean’s Showcase of Stars in March and I was inspired by the number of scholarships we were able to award to deserving students. I’m eager to work with donors to help make more awards available for Spartan Engineers!”

Originally from Burton, Michigan, today Keehner lives in East Lansing with his wife and daughter. Outside of work, he enjoys woodworking and gardening.

“When I lived in Chicago, I got involved with a MakerSpace and fell in love with using the space’s CNC machine to help with woodworking projects. Since moving back, I built my own CNC machine to help me tinker with woodworking projects around my house.”

Keehner said he has heard alumni say that compared to our peers, “Spartans will do more with less. Personally, I would love to see what Spartan Engineers will be able to do more with more,” he added.