School of Education Welcomes new Director of Development

May 1, 2018
Michele Tigelaar

Michele Tigelaar has served in development roles for several different educational institutions — small and large, public and private — but when she got to know Baylor University, she was certain she wanted to serve here.

“I was compelled to apply because of Baylor’s mission, excellence and reputation, and then I was impressed every step of the way,” said Tigelaar, the School of Education’s new director of development.

“Many institutions have a passion for education and for their mission, but it’s rare that an institution actually lives its mission,” she said. “Baylor does that, and it’s extraordinary.”

Tigelaar also said that Baylor’s appointment of Dr. Linda A. Livingstone as president influenced her interest in Baylor. “I was looking under the surface, reading articles and speeches by Dr. Livingstone,” she said. “I could tell she’s a true academic with a passion and a vision, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Tigelaar’s role is to connect generous donors to compelling opportunities at the School of Education that will further the mission and vision of Baylor, and most importantly, to make the experience of giving joyful and meaningful. After getting to know the SOE, Tigelaar said she is delighted every day with the excellence of the faculty, students, and the nationally renowned research happening within the SOE. “I am especially inspired by the real-world teaching experiences and global classroom opportunities that are immediately available to even our first-year students,” she said.

Tigelaar, a native Texan, came to Baylor from a development role at her alma mater, the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Prior to that, she was a grant manager for the Albuquerque Public Schools and director of donor and alumni relations for a small private school in the area. She also served as a development officer with the United Way of Central New Mexico.

“Michele comes to the School of Education with 20 years of experience in educational settings, primarily in development roles,” said Dr. Terrill Saxon, interim dean. “Her work in private and public K-12 schools and most recently in higher education make her a wonderful asset and a perfect fit for the School.”

Tigelaar said that, even when she was an undergraduate majoring in political science with a minor in business, she had an interest in working with nonprofits, and she has not strayed from that path. In addition to her professional work, she has volunteered with many organizations and served on several non-profit boards, including the Rio Grande Food Project, United Way of Central New Mexico’s Young Leadership Society, and the Junior League of Albuquerque, where she served as president.

Your support can make an incredible difference in the lives of Baylor students. Consider establishing your own or contributing to an existing endowed scholarship fund at Baylor’s School of Education.

To find out how you can get involved, contact Michele Tigelaar at (254) 227-7373 or 800-BAYLOR-U, option 4. 
Michele_Tigelaar@baylor.ed or visit