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Brian Keehner: Giving the Spartan Way

“It’s not just calling alumni, but the impact that my actions made that inspired me,” said Brian Keehner, DePaul University Assistant Director of Annual & Special Giving and former Greenliner. Starting at MSU Greenline in 2006, Brian has contributed to the organization at all levels — caller, supervisor, Recruiting Manager and Assistant Coordinator. Brian said, “When I began my job at Greenline I was considering a lot of different majors but as I spoke to more alumni and saw my friends graduate, I realized my passion was to open doors to help others follow their dreams.” Discovering a drive to help his fellow students added to his growth as a leader.

As a Greenliner, Brian saw that what the students and alumni shared in common was Spartan spirit. “When you speak to alumni, the callers are like a liaison to the memories the alumni cherish from their early adulthood. I came to appreciate how they valued their time here and it made me more enthusiastic about MSU as well.” MSU Greenline contacts over 175,000 alumni every year, building a stronger connection between East Lansing and Spartans worldwide.  

Keehner said “No one really grows up saying they want to be a fundraiser, but I love communicating with people and I was successful in my work.” The alumni he connected with during his time with MSU Greenline exposed him not only to opportunities beyond graduation, but to their individual motivations for reaching their goals as well. It was the conversations he had that pushed him to continue on a path in university advancement. “The times people had in college are the stories they’ll tell for the rest of their lives. Talking with alumni made me realize what I was in the midst of at MSU. I love sharing stories with people and I knew I wanted to keep doing that.”

 “I think Greenliners understand the slogan ‘Spartans Will’ better than anybody,” said Brian. “As representatives of the university they talk to so many alumni and see firsthand exactly what Spartans are willing to do for students today, not just in East Lansing but in Chicago, London, anywhere in the world. Michigan State produces unique leaders.”

Today, Brian Keehner has a leading role at DePaul, bringing in donations to the private institution. Brian’s journey from a caller at Greenline to managing a program at DePaul embodies a level of achievement that MSU Greenline hopes to provide for students by enriching MSU’s campus resources. His story is also a true example of how the spirit of philanthropy extends beyond East Lansing. At MSU Greenline, giving back is not just a goal but a mindset that each caller, supervisor, manager, and coordinator carries with them. Brian Keehner has done it all at Michigan State and he has found his true calling as a leader in university fundraising.