Office of Development and Alumni Relations


Jessica Shepard Watts

Ryan Elias is a director of corporate relations. He joined the Office of Development and Alumni Relations in 2014 after eight years as a major gift fundraiser at Purdue University. He managed alumni and corporate giving for the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue, securing the two largest gifts in the department’s history. Elias’ final role there focused on building strategic corporate and foundation relationships in the College of Science. His efforts significantly advanced philanthropic and research funding in life sciences and computer science. Elias earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business from the University of Cincinnati. He later graduated from Purdue with an executive master’s degree in business administration. Elias is a member of the board of directors for the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers and a co-chair of the 2014 NACRO conference.

At UT Dallas, Elias focuses on engaging new companies and building holistic, long-term relationships with corporations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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