This entry is part 10 of 28 in the series Spring - 2017


Brett Anderson

Vice President for University Advancement
Colorado State University

by Beth Etter

Brett Anderson has at least a billion reasons to be satisfied as he steps away from his post as vice president for University Advancement at Colorado State University.

After all, he wasn’t really anticipating the job in the first place. In 2009, Anderson (B.S., engineering, ’87) had recently retired (at age 43!) following a highly successful career at international consulting firm Accenture. Returning to CSU was never on his radar.

But, after volunteering on several key University projects and boards, he realized just how much he longed to see CSU excel. So, when newly appointed President Tony Frank asked him to take over as vice president and lead CSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign to a successful conclusion, Anderson couldn’t resist.

“My belief, rightly or wrongly, is that CSU is the best University – period,” he said. “It’s a tremendous place – we have the best people, the best students, the best campus, and the best leadership, but it was almost like we were afraid to tell the world. The No. 1 thing I wanted to do was change the culture here, to convince everyone on this campus to never settle.”

Mind you, Frank had asked Anderson to do the seemingly impossible. The $500 million Campaign for Colorado State University, launched in 2005, had stalled just past the halfway point as the economy tanked in 2009.

Anderson, though, wasn’t about to accept anything less than success. He not only spurred the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, CSU hit that goal six months early and raised $40 million more by its official end June 30, 2012.

“The growth of our fundraising under Brett’s leadership has been truly remarkable. He’s built a culture of philanthropy around CSU that we had never seen before.” – Tony Frank


Anderson was just getting started. In 2016, CSU officially launched State Your Purpose – The Campaign for Colorado State University – a $1 billion campaign to add classroom and research infrastructure, significantly increase funding for student scholarships and faculty support, and enhance athletics and campus facilities. With three-plus years remaining, CSU has raised more than $767 million, shattering University and state fundraising records at a dizzying pace.

“The growth of our fundraising under Brett’s leadership has been truly remarkable,” said Frank. “He’s built a culture of philanthropy around CSU that we had never seen before.”

CSU has raised more than $1 billion under Anderson’s leadership – money that has transformed the campus heading into its 150th birthday in 2020. He’s brought in four of the five largest gifts in the University’s history and increased annual fundraising nearly fourfold. Alumni participation is up 50 percent since his arrival.

On July 1, he takes on a new challenge: special assistant to Frank – helping to improve efficiency and accountability across CSU. Kim Tobin will step in as vice president for University Advancement.

By any measure, Anderson’s has been a job very well done. But he prefers to look beyond the numbers.

“We have a completely different attitude than we had even 10 years ago,” he said. “We expect excellence in everything we do. Our alumni are so proud of this University. It’s just a different place now.”

Campaign for Colorado State

Ensuring that Colorado State University students have access to a world-class education and are exposed to leading edge research and discovery so that they can find their purpose in this world requires resources. Private support is integral to this mission.

Kim Tobin


When Brett Anderson steps into his new role as special assistant to President Frank, he leaves Colorado State University’s Division of University Advancement in capable hands.

Kim Tobin, who has spent the past 14 years raising money and developing relationships with key CSU supporters, will step into the vice president position starting July 1.

“Kim comes to the VP role with impeccable credentials, a deep knowledge of our advancement operation, and my full trust and confidence,” Frank said. “She is absolutely the right person to step into Brett’s shoes, and I know she will take CSU and our advancement team to new heights.”