Michael Degenhart

Vice President


Michael J. Degenhart, Vice President for Gift Planning, brings more than 25 years of professional experience in development and fundraising with higher education institutions.

Michael recently retired from his role as the Assistant Vice President of the Office of Gift Planning at The Pennsylvania State University.  In this position, he oversaw the development and execution of university-wide planned giving strategies across Penn State's 24 campuses.  Renowned as a leader in higher education gift planning and principal gift work, Degenhart is known for his ability to simplify complex gift planning techniques for donors.  During his tenure at Penn State, his office was responsible for achieving an annual gift planning goal of $100 million.  He played a crucial role in the senior management team that led Penn State’s $2 billion "For the Future" campaign, concluding in 2016, and the $2.1 billion "A Greater Penn State" campaign, concluding in 2022.  Michael personally contributed to raising over $400 million in outright and deferred gifts during his tenure.

Previously, Michael served for three years as the Assistant Vice President of the Office of Gift Planning at Syracuse University. While at Syracuse, Michael provided strategic leadership to aid central major gift staff and encouraged the consistent use of blended gifts to increase an individual’s giving potential. He was also responsible for reorganizing assignments, streamlining rating systems; and directing gift officers to identify, qualify, and solicit prospects efficiently and effectively.

Michael has also served as the Associate Director of the Office of Trust, Estates & Gift Planning at Cornell University, the Director of Capital Programs at Hampden-Sydney College, and the Director of Development and Gift Planning at the Medical College of Ohio. Before pursuing a career in higher education advancement, Michael was Vice President in the Private Client Group with Robert W. Baird & Co. He has been quoted in Bloomberg Wealth Manager, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and the Journal of Gift Planning and has authored articles that have appeared in publications such as Planned Giving Today and the Major Gift Report. Michael received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, an Accredited Estate Planner, and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy.

  • Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake
  • American Orthopedic Association
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • City of Hope
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Colorado State University
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Dartmouth College
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Drake University
  • Drexel University
  • Emory University
  • Hope College
  • Montgomery College
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Oregon State University
  • Ohio State University
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Queen’s University Ontario
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Tate Britain
  • University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Science Department
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Florida
  • University of Maryland College Park
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Vermont Foundation
  • University of Virginia
  • The American Orthopaedic Association
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Emory University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of New Hampshire
  • The Ohio State University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Colorado System
  • University of Florida
  • The University of Vermont Foundation
  • University of Virginia

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