Melissa Watkins

Associate Vice President, Development, Principal and Major Gifts

Melissa Watkins
Melissa Watkins, Associate Vice President, Development, Principal and Major Gifts


Melissa Watkins joined University Advancement as executive director, major gifts in 2021. She brings more than 15 years of experience in development. As Associate Vice President, Development, Principal and Major Gifts, Watkins is responsible for overseeing the efforts of development professionals who lead the fundraising efforts within LMU’s colleges, schools, and athletics.

Watkins comes to LMU from Cal Poly Pomona where she managed a team of development officers who supported the Colleges of Education, Letters, Arts & Social Sciences, Science, Environmental Design, and Hospitality Management. Prior to this, she worked in development at CSU Bakersfield and started her career with CCS Fundraising as a capital campaign consultant.

She earned a MBA from Wayne State University in Detroit, a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Administration from Central Michigan University, and most recently, a Project Management Professional Certification through Project Management International.

In her free time, Watkins enjoys bike riding, exploring the sights, sounds, and smells of the Los Angeles region, and hand-crafting bracelets.