The University of South Carolina Upstate recently announced Richard J. “R.J.” Gimbl as the vice chancellor for university advancement and executive director of the USC Upstate Foundation. Gimbl, an accomplished advancement professional, brings more than 15 years of experience in higher education advancement to the role. He will provide strategic leadership and oversight to the University Advancement team and work extensively to enhance fundraising outcomes for the University, elevate the profile of USC Upstate, and engage community partners. Gimbl will join the USC Upstate community on May 23.
“I am excited that R.J. is joining our leadership team," said USC Upstate Chancellor Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. "We have ambitious and bold aspirations for elevating USC Upstate’s regional impact. Funding our mission for increased scholarships, facilities, and program investments to support academic excellence is essential to the students and community we serve. R.J.'s expertise and leadership come at the right time and I know the philanthropic and civic community look forward to participating in advancing our mission.”
Prior to joining USC Upstate, Gimbl served as associate vice president for university advancement at Winthrop University, charged with oversight for the areas of annual giving, major and planned gifts, advancement services and donor relations. Under his leadership, Winthrop achieved a milestone number of unrestricted annual gifts during 2018, while also reaching the second-highest total for overall fundraising in 2019.
“The vision and commitment that Chancellor Harris has set to position the university for greatness through strategic partnerships and private support are inspiring,” Gimbl said. “I am both humbled and honored for the opportunity to join the USC Upstate family and partner with faculty, staff, alumni, board leadership and members of the greater Upstate community to advance the university forward.”
Prior to joining Winthrop, Gimbl served as president and CEO of the Fairmont State Foundation for three years. He managed the day-to-day operations and fundraising efforts on behalf of Fairmont State University which resulted in expanding the annual giving program and building a pipeline of major gift prospects.
Gimbl spent four years as director of major gifts for intercollegiate athletics at Pennsylvania State University, focusing on portfolio growth for athletics during the University’s $2 billion comprehensive campaign. Among his duties was directing and executing the fundraising plan for the $10 million Ice Campaign, securing endowments for the newly established men’s and women’s ice hockey programs. He previously served as Marshall University’s associate athletic director and executive director of the Big Green Scholarship Foundation overseeing development. Prior to that, Gimbl was assistant director of development of West Virginia University’s Foundation, where he directed the annual giving and ticket priority program for the Mountaineer Athletic Club.
Gimbl is actively engaged in the community and volunteer organizations. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Rock Hill, currently serving as Club President. He is also active with the Boy Scouts of America, serving as committee chair for Pack 109. Gimbl holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a Master's in Business Administration from West Virginia University.
He is married to Sarah Gimbl and they have two children, William and Mackenzie.
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