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William Jessup University, the Sacramento area’s only residential four-year private university, has appointed Michael Harper to the newly formed position of Associate Athletic Director of Development.

Harper begins work January 15 to focus primarily on donor stewardship while developing fundraising and capital campaigns for the Warrior athletic program.


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“Michael will play a key role in identifying, cultivating and maintaining relationships as we continue to broaden our depth in the region and beyond,” said Eric Hogue, Jessup’s Chief Development Officer. “Entering the Golden State Athletic Conference (this year) enlarges our footprint and creates an increased need to support athletics and our new programs, including baseball.”

Harper received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing from the University of Southern California, where he played tailback for the highly-successful USC Trojan football team from 1979-84 and was a teammate of Heisman Trophy winners Charles White and Marcus Allen.

Harper was later drafted by the NFL in 1984 as a wide receiver by the Los Angeles Rams and continued to pursue his athletic career. He played four years with the New York Jets beginning in 1986 and retired in 1990.

Most recently, Harper was the former Development Director with Acres of Hope, a long-term housing program for homeless women with children located in Auburn. While there, he managed fundraising and campaign efforts to help raise over $1 million in capital funds and operating income while implementing organizational protocol and best practices throughout the organization.

In 2010, Harper became Director of Community Outreach for the Sacramento Mountain Lions Football Club and helped develop community fundraising programs. He led program fundraising efforts with various youth sports teams, churches and community organizations that raised awareness and provided a new professional sports entertainment venue for the greater Sacramento area.

Harper’s background also includes work in the IT business sales and marketing arena as well as regional and channel sales for Sun Microsystems and Hitachi Data Systems.

“I’m excited to be a part of the William Jessup Warrior athletic program and to help establish our presence as a major competitor in the NAIA and the GSAC as we build and expand our athletic programs,” Harper said.

Harper and his wife have four children, attend Bayside Church in Granite Bay, and reside in Roseville.