The Office of Development and Alumni Engagement is comprised of Spartans dedicated to promoting possibilities. Their office garners funds for scholarships and endowments that support learning, teaching and research and find meaningful ways to connect with alumni and friends and honor their impact across the College of Education.
DIRECTION & IDEATION
Eric L. Sturdy Jr. brings more than 20 years of experience in not-for-profit organizations, health care and higher education as leader of the college’s Development and Alumni Relations team. In his previous position as the director of development for MSU’s College of Nursing, Sturdy documented nearly $15.6 million in gifts and pledges, including the college’s first funded chair.
“Although we may be new to our roles with the College of Education, we have collectively been with MSU for over 25 years. Our commitment to the green and white will help us be successful in connecting College of Education alumni and donors in meaningful ways,” said Sturdy, who has three family members that are educators.
IMAGINATION & IMPLEMENTATION:
According to Masters, one of the best parts of connecting with alumni is envisioning what could be with contributions of any size to the college.
“There are a number of ways you can make a gift and have a meaningful impact,” says Masters, who is a member of a local worship band. “If you can dream it, we welcome the opportunity to explore with you how to make it happen.”
Prior to joining the College of Education in February 2021, Masters worked with United Way, 4-H, and the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in various philanthropic-based roles.
INTENTION & COMMUNITY:
In three years with the College of Education, Cameo King has seen how scholarships and endowed funds can support pursuit of knowledge in various ways. She’s provided scholarships as part of the Student Support and Engagement team and supported internal connections with the Human Resources team. In the broader community, King is founder of the youth empowerment non-profit Grit, Glam and Guts and operates The Good Girl podcast.
“My career at MSU and beyond gives me a robust skillset of how things work, and who needs what, when and where,” says King. “I love connecting with alumni to learn about what they’re passionate about so we can bridge it to a need in the college.”
APPRECIATION & ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
“Once you have given to the College of Education, it doesn’t stop there,” says Ashley Murphy, who is taking on a newly formed role in the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement. She is strategizing and creating meaningful ways to thank and acknowledge donors.
“We want donors to stay connected in impactful and important ways,” she added.
Previously, Murphy served the MSU Office of K-12 Outreach, working with local and statewide schools to provide support and training opportunities. She has also the ranks of Spartan alumni: She graduated with a master’s in Strategic Communication in August 2022.
CONNECTION & ENGAGEMENT:
Ryan Smith is the newest member of the team, joining in June 2022. His connections with MSU and the college extend even further back: His family has long been fans of Spartan football, Smith (who was part of the Spartan Marching Band’s drumline) graduated from MSU’s James Madison College in 2009 with a degree in Social Relations & Policy and Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy. He is married to Abby Johnson, an academic advisor for the Teacher Preparation Program.
It’s this deep connection with the university that makes Smith a perfect fit for his new role.
“I’m through and through a Spartan,” he says, and he wants alumni of the college to feel the same. In addition to managing the college’s Alumni Board, Smith is looking for new and exciting ways to engage with alumni, build relationships and networks and “deepen connections to the college across a variety of studies, generations and identities.”