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Wayne State University

Dear colleagues,

As you know, the upcoming retirement of Susan Burns as vice president of development and alumni affairs creates a gap in leadership at a critical moment when the division is planning our next comprehensive fundraising campaign.

To ensure a smooth transition and uninterrupted direction, I am pleased to announce that, with the concurrence of the Board of Governors, David Ripple will be appointed vice president for development and alumni affairs. David’s appointment will be formally ratified by the Board of Governors at its next meeting on Jan. 26, 2023, and he will begin on Feb. 1.

David is no stranger to Wayne State. He first came to campus as associate vice president of development and alumni affairs in 2006 and was promoted to vice president of the division and president of the Wayne State University Foundation in 2008. During his tenure, David retooled our fundraising operations to meet the needs of a comprehensive R1 university, implemented best-practice metrics for development operations, and provided recommended courses of action to the university president and foundation board to strategically link the needs of Wayne State with external resources. 

In 2014, David left Wayne State to become vice president of development at The Ohio State University, then returned to Michigan in 2016, where he became president of The Remington Group and then moved on to his current appointment as vice president of development for Trinity Health. He holds an associate degree in liberal arts from Schoolcraft College, a B.A. in journalism from Madonna University and an M.A. in English from Eastern Michigan University.

As Susan’s retirement date is March 31, she will stay at Wayne State during this period to provide a seamless transition with David. During February and March, she will be appointed as special advisor to the president and assist in managing the handoff of the many relationships we’ve both nurtured to secure support for our university. This will allow David to focus on internal matters such as continuing the planning for our next campaign and hiring staff to fill both open and new positions.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to Susan for devoting her passion and expertise so fully to Wayne State during her eight years of leadership; I could not have asked for a better, more capable vice president.

Please join me in thanking Susan for her years of service and in welcoming David back home to Wayne State. David has the vision and leadership acumen to ensure our fundraising enterprise secures a bright and sustainable future for our university, and I look forward to all he will contribute to our mission.


M. Roy Wilson

M. Roy Wilson


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