35 Years of Service: David Faehner

   Employee Awards | Posted on February 22, 2021

David Faehner is not only the vice president for University Advancement he is a consummate storyteller, a New York storyteller. And as a colleague adds, “This means that the story is bigger than life. It’s glitzy. It’s glamorous. It’s even a bit dangerous. Ask Dave to tell you about his train rides in California. Or his hitchhiking…”

But David Faehner doesn’t just tell stories; he lives them, and Andrews University has been the beneficiary of 35 years of his committed, energetic, bigger than life, passion for Adventist education and students. During his earlier years on campus when his leadership role included enrollment, he introduced two new programs that increased access to campus by students and introduced new revenue streams: one for students in Asia and one for single parents.

Then during the time of his leadership in Advancement, the advancement team has raised $180 million, including commitments, and seen the endowment total grow from $3m to $20m, with the commensurate increase of endowments from 94 to 392. David has also led more than 800 alumni meetings worldwide. Projects during those years have included Chan Shun Hall, Harrigan Hall, the seminary addition, the Howard Performing Arts Center, the new entrance, Buller Hall, the remodeling of Nethery Hall and the Andreasen Center for Wellness.

Always focusing on students “on the side” he established the traditions of creating a top 10 list of reasons why students come to Andrews—never forgetting the famous weather joke—and the “Almost Anything Goes” Saturday night program that helps kick off each school year.

One colleague comments of Dave: “No matter what the fundraising project is: a new building or new scholarships, Dave works tirelessly so that this will be a place where students can thrive and develop their God-given potential.”  Another comments on Dave’s energy and fearlessness in his fund-raising, commenting, “his boldness is inspiring.” Former president Niels-Erik Andreasen recounts how his fund-raising trips with Dave included travels around Michigan in snowstorms in an old college car without a heater and separation in a Tokyo airport amidst a tsunami and earthquake. Nothing stops Dave when he has a goal to accomplish on behalf of students and the University.

Thank you, David Faehner, for 35 years of embracing life, Andrews University, its students and each of us with great gusto and passion! As a good friend of Andrews writes: "May God continue to bless Dave Faehner abundantly!"