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December 3, 2010

Michael Rierson Appointed Senior Vice President for Development for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Colonial Williamsburg President Colin G. Campbell has announced the appointment of Michael Rierson as senior vice president for development effective Jan. 1, 2011. In this position, Rierson will oversee the Foundation’s fundraising and lead the development and expansion of annual, major and planned giving; broaden philanthropic support; and expand the Foundation’s base of friends and supporters.

“A strong and vibrant development program is vital to support Colonial Williamsburg’s ambitious educational and preservation objectives,” said Colin Campbell. “Michael Rierson has an extraordinary record of success in all aspects of fundraising and is an accomplished and highly regarded major gift strategist. His work with volunteers, donors and institutional colleagues has established him as an outstanding leader in philanthropy and as a team player. Clearly, his skills, personal qualities and enthusiasm for Colonial Williamsburg’s mission will serve this special place extremely well.”

“I am honored to join Colin Campbell and the Colonial Williamsburg team,” said Rierson. “I have always believed that philanthropy in the service of a noble purpose is one of the things that make America great. Standing in the middle of Duke of Gloucester Street recently, I looked at Colonial Williamsburg and fell in love with its noble purpose, its people and its future. Fundraising today requires us to demonstrate our value and our values. Colonial Williamsburg delivers on that effort.”

At the University of Houston since October 2005, Rierson has overseen university fundraising, marketing and communications as vice chancellor of university advancement and has coordinated advancement activities at all four UH System universities and teaching centers. Over the last five years he has taken the university’s fundraising from $37 million annually to a university record of $104 million this past year. His previous professional experience includes nine years in development work at Duke followed by senior advancement positions at the University of North Carolina, the University of Miami and the University of South Florida.

Prior to his career in higher education, Rierson was a senior policy advisor and speechwriter for former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt. In the 1970s, Rierson was assistant director of the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television, the statewide television network. In 1995, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and studied at the University of Copenhagen.

Rierson holds a double B.A. in journalism and radio-TV, motion pictures as well as an M. A. in communications from the University of North Carolina.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265