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Mover and Shaker: Kerry Watterson ’98 impacting society through philanthropy

03.21.2019 | By:
Kerry Watterson

Kerry Watterson ’98 has had an extensive career in fundraising and philanthropy. He currently serves as senior director of philanthropy for Year Up and raises 80 million annually for this nationwide nonprofit that trains youth for corporate careers. Year Up enables young adults to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year.

Watterson has also raised capital investments for many for-profit ventures, including commercial theatre productions on Broadway, documentary and short films and fashion and technology companies. His BFA in theatre from TXWES has given him the drive and passion to support arts and culture as an astute philanthropic strategist.

Kerry has founded a philanthropy and fundraising firm called Fundraising Well where he develops sophisticated strategies to help nonprofits and philanthropists maximize their impact on society and targeted areas. In addition to his career as a fundraiser, Kerry was a classroom educator and built training programs and education sites around the world.

Here is what Kerry had to say about his time at TXWES:

Why did you choose Texas Wesleyan?
My high school teacher, Larry Cure '76, stepped on my path, helped me find direction, and encouraged me to pursue a college education at Texas Wesleyan. When I visited the campus, I knew it was the right home for me – Smaller. Smarter.

Favorite Texas Wesleyan memory:
Receiving the Golden Shears award at the 1998 alumni weekend performance of Anything Goes. I was standing on stage with Jacqui Benton ’98 when the winner was announced. I was so sure it was her based on the resume being read. I was glad to be wrong.

Share your professional awards or accolades, if applicable:
2018 National Alumni Achievement Award, Mortar Board
2015 Ralph Chamberlain Fellowship, Association of Fundraising Professionals

How did TXWES contribute to your success and/or preparedness for your career?
Receiving a well-rounded education, in a small campus setting, with personalized attention and mentorship from my professors, peer facilitation, and friendships built are all absolutely significant factors in my career success.

List an interesting fact about you or hobby that people may not know.
I'm a meditation enthusiast.

Do you know of any alumni who are doing great things in their field or community? If so, contact the alumni office at or 817.531.6548.