Stephen Bayer

WEBSITE(S)| Office of the President - University Administration | Association of Rice Alumni (ARA)

Stephen Bayer, a seasoned fundraiser with over 22 years of leadership experience in higher education, has been named vice president for development and alumni relations at Rice University, effective Sept. 26.

Bayer comes to Rice from Duke University, where he has served as the senior associate vice president of alumni engagement and development. In that role, he managed the central frontline fundraising staff, including major and leadership gifts, gift planning, international development and foundation relations.

At Rice, he will collaborate with university leadership on crafting a strategy and execution plan to increase annual fundraising significantly and to grow and diversify charitable support to underpin critical initiatives. He will be responsible for creating multi-year strategies for new donor pipelines, meeting annual fundraising goals, enhancing current systems, recruiting and retaining top talent and improving alumni outreach and engagement across all schools and programs.

Bayer joined Duke in 2011 as associate vice president for development. He was promoted to the senior associate vice president of alumni engagement and development in 2019. Prior to that, he was at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where he began his development career in 2001 as associate director of planned giving and left in 2011 after spending three years as the college’s vice president for development and alumni relations.

During his time at Swarthmore, Bayer led a staff of 50 and a goal-breaking $245 million campaign, the largest in the college’s history. At Duke, he managed a staff of 180 and played a critical leadership role in the design, strategy and management of the Duke Forward Campaign, which raised $2.85 billion, exceeding the campaign’s goal by $600 million.

Prior to his work in development, he practiced commercial litigation in Philadelphia and spent five years in personal investment banking working closely with high net-worth entrepreneurs, assisting his clients in diversifying and managing personal investments, growing their businesses through joint venture equity and transferring generational wealth through creative estate planning and insurance funding.

Bayer earned a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tufts University.


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