Miaoulis Hopes to Bring Fundraising Prowess to RWU

Jordan Phelan

As Roger Williams University continues to invest funds into infrastructure and capital acquisitions, President-Designate Ioannis N. Miaoulis looks to bring his fundraising expertise to campus.

Between 2014 and 2016, total contributions and gifts to the university (excluding government grants) drastically increased by nearly $4.8 million, predominately through initiatives such as Civic Scholars and RWU’s annual Day of Giving. However, fundraising costs have risen 8.3 percent in just the past two years, according to IRS 990 forms.

Miaoulis’ selection coincides with the university’s on-going construction of a new $13.8-million laboratories building for the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management, something that he has considerable experience with as former dean of the College of Engineering at Tufts University.

 In addition to helping grow the number of female students and faculty in the College of Engineering at Tufts, Miaoulis also played a substantial role in fundraising $100 million for the school.

“People give to great ideas and great places,” said Miaoulis. “My idea about Roger Williams is to try to understand the needs and wants of potential donors, both individual donors and corporate and foundation donors, and position the university in ways that we can grow nationally and internationally.”

Throughout his career, Miaoulis has made financial stability a high priority. 

During his tenure at the Boston Museum of Science, the museum’s budget doubled, and he helped raise more than $470 million, including a record $50 million gift from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2016. Miaoulis also spearheaded the creation of the National Center for Technological Literacy, which developed K-12 engineering materials that have reached an estimated 200,000 teachers and 18 million students in 50 states and many countries. 

Interim President Dr. Andrew Workman said that the next president needs to build on late Dr. Donald J. Farish’s foundation and continue to find new ways to fundraise.

 “[Miaoulis] brings a different perspective than you might have from someone who has only worked in the academy,” said Workman. “He also brings an expertise in fundraising which we haven’t always had at Roger Williams, and that is going to be really important for us to have the money to invest in programs that are going to improve the university.”

With a new strategy on fundraising and a broader agenda, Miaoulis hopes to start proliferating the funding sources of the institution, expanding the number of opportunities for the entire student body.