Joe Plante

Joe Plante

Joe Plante, an institutional advancement staff member at St. Thomas for 26 years, has been named interim executive director of development at the university.

He succeeds Steve Hoeppner, who resigned effective Wednesday, Oct. 2, to pursue other interests. Hoeppner held the position for more than 11 years.

“I am pleased that Joe is willing and eager to lead our Development Office,” President Julie Sullivan said. “He has been a highly successful gift officer whose love for his alma mater shows through in everything he does, and I know that he will provide strong leadership.”

Plante, 51, is a 1986 St. Thomas alumnus with majors in finance and theology. After spending a year as director of religious education and youth ministry at Risen Savior Catholic Church in Burnsville, he returned to St. Thomas to work in the alumni office.

He advanced to become associate alumni director before moving to Development as a major gifts officer in 1995. He subsequently served as director of major gifts and director of individual giving before he was promoted to director of development, the office’s No. 2 position, in 2011. In that role, he oversaw 30 people, or half the Development staff.

“I’m excited for this opportunity,” Plante said. “We had great fund-raising success under Father (Dennis) Dease and Monsignor (Terrence) Murphy, and I know we can build on that to become even more successful under Dr. Sullivan.”