Today@Sam Article

Frank Holmes Retiring As SHSU’s Vice President For University Advancement

March 1, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Frank and MariaAfter nineteen years of service, Frank Holmes, vice president for university advancement, has announced his plan to retire at the end of May 2022. The advancement division, with its focus on external outreach, includes the departments of advancement services, alumni relations, development, marketing and communications and the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.

During his tenure, private giving has increased from less than $2 million annually in 2003 to more than $16 million. Holmes oversaw two successful capital campaigns including the university’s first such undertaking launched in 2006. Both campaigns exceeded goals with combined commitments totaling more than $209 million.

In 2011, SHSU received a $25 million pledge from alumnus Fred Pirkle, founder of Therm-Omega-Tech, Inc. This represents the largest gift in the university’s history.

“Fundraising efforts are a critical part of a university’s mission,” according to Holmes. “It took years of consistent work and focus to connect, build relationships, and gain the confidence and understanding necessary to create a culture of philanthropy. I will leave knowing that the future is very promising.”

Under Holmes’ leadership, the Alumni Association significantly grew its outreach programming. Annual alumni activities and meetings were expanded from 40 to 400, helping raise the alumni membership base from 2,500 members to nearly 15,000, while life members increased from 250 to 3,650.

SHSU President Alisa White remarked, “Frank has built a strong advancement program and an engaged base of alumni and friends – making a real difference at our university. Frank and his wife and partner, Maria, have led a life of service – generously giving to their communities in so many ways. I know they will carry this forward into the next phase of their lives.”  

Representing SHSU, Holmes served on the boards of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership and the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council. He was elected as the 2017-2018 chairman of the board for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.

Maria Holmes, associate dean of the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College at SHSU, will also be retiring.

“While I cannot thank our university community and donors enough, a huge factor in any success that I may have enjoyed, has been my wife, Maria,” Holmes stated. “She has been my constant companion and loudest cheerleader. We are looking forward to a very happy retirement together and spending time with our five grandchildren.”

Before joining SHSU, Holmes served as assistant headmaster for advancement at Christ School, associate vice president for advancement/alumni at the University of Memphis and executive vice president and chief operating officer for the University of Houston Alumni Organization, Inc.

Thelma Mooney, associate vice president for development, will serve as the interim vice president of university advancement beginning June 1, 2022. A national search will begin soon.


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