BLACKSBURG — The Virginia Tech Department of Intercollegiate Athletics in conjunction with the Office of University Development announced today the hiring of Bill Lansden as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development and Executive Director of the Hokie Club. In this role, Lansden will be responsible for the leadership of all facets of a comprehensive athletic development program and charged with the continued growth and evolution of the Hokie Club.
“We are pleased to welcome Bill and his family to the Virginia Tech family,” Athletics Director Whit Babcock said. “Enhancing the Hokie Club and expanding our donor base has become even more important in this new era of ‘cost-of-attendance’ and escalating scholarship costs. Bill’s proven ability and experience in leading a staff coupled with his skill for cultivating genuine relationships with donors and constituents make him an ideal fit for Virginia Tech. While he has big shoes to fill in replacing Lu Merritt, we know Bill will be up for the challenge and will work well with the talented and dedicated staff and volunteers we already have in place.”
Lansden comes to Blacksburg from Birmingham, Alabama, where he spent the past two years as the senior associate AD for external relations at the University of Alabama Birmingham. While at UAB, he oversaw a staff of 25 in the areas of development, marketing, media relations and ticketing for the Blazers’ 18 sports. He also served as the liaison with the university’s development office.
Prior to working at UAB, he spent nine years (2004-13) as the associate AD for athletics development at the University of Memphis, where he oversaw two capital campaigns, the major gifts program and annual giving. During his time at Memphis, the athletics development department set six consecutive annual giving and donor participation records.
Lansden also worked as the associate AD for external operations at Middle Tennessee State (2002-04), where he oversaw the development program and increased annual giving membership by more than 40 percent. Early in his career (1994-2002) he also held positions with the FedEx St. Jude Classic in corporate sales and hospitality and had a prior stint at Memphis earning his stripes in the annual giving program.
“I look forward to returning to my true love, which is focusing solely on development and fundraising. Being able to serve in that capacity at Virginia Tech, which has such a strong national brand, provides a wonderful opportunity for me and my family,” Lansden said. “I’ve known Lu Merritt [outgoing senior director of development for intercollegiate athletics] and respect his accomplishments and those of his staff, and I’ve known Whit Babcock for more than 10 years. He and Desiree Reed-Francois [executive associate AD] are building a great team and a strong foundation for success; being a part of that energy and vision is very appealing to me. I am also very impressed with the team we have in the Hokie Club and in the University Development office. Exciting times at Virginia Tech.
“I can’t wait to meet the Hokie Nation and get started. I’m ready to embrace the challenges of raising the resources needed to continue moving Virginia Tech Athletics in a positive direction. We’ve got some momentum; we need to build on it, and we will.”
As the chief major gift officer for Intercollegiate Athletics, Lansden will be responsible for the planning and implementation of the overall fundraising efforts from all private sources and will work in close cooperation with the University’s Central Development Office. He will assume his new duties on or near July 15.
Lansden earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Rhodes College (TN), where he lettered four-years in football while also serving as team captain. He received his Master of Science degree in sports administration from Georgia State in 1993.
Born and raised in Memphis, Bill is joined by his wife, Blair, who is a former women’s basketball player at the University of Arkansas and former head coach at the University of Memphis. The Lansdens have two 9-year old twin daughters, Madeline and Delaney.