Rodney P. Kirsch, senior vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at Penn State, will leave his position on Aug. 31 after leading the University from start to finish through two, seven-year, billion-dollar-plus capital campaigns and overseeing the attainment of new private support totaling $4.4 billion during his tenure. …

Kirsch, who is among only a handful of individuals nationally who has managed two, seven-year, billion-dollar-plus campaigns from beginning to end at a single institution, helped Penn State raise more money during his first decade as vice president than the University had raised over its previous 140 years in existence. …

Through his work overseeing the For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, Penn State established a new national standard for alumni donors giving to a single university campaign  — 176,000 —  more alumni donors than any other public or private university in the history of American higher education.

Rodney Kirsch’s retirement is a big deal for Penn Staters who understand his tenure. Discovering what led to Kirsch’s remarkability is worth exploring.