Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine has named Claus Weimann director of Philanthropy.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine names Weimann director of Philanthropy
An image of Claus Weimann with his family
Claus Weimann, OUWB's new director of Philanthropy, poses for a picture with his family.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine has named Claus Weimann director of Philanthropy.

Weimann joined OUWB on Aug. 3. In his new role, Weimann is a member of the Leadership Team of OUWB Stephan Sharf Dean Duane Mezwa, M.D., as well as the OUWB Advisory Board.

His primary responsibilities are overseeing and directing the fundraising activities for OUWB, primarily to help secure financial support to fund scholarships for the school’s students.

Most recently, Weimann worked at University of Michigan-Flint, where he was a special advisor to the university’s provost and a fundraiser.

Weimann, who has spent his career in development and fundraising, said he’s excited about his new role at OUWB.

“I feel like OUWB really has momentum and an American entrepreneurial spirit that I really like and appreciate,” he said. “Things are not put in stone from an institution that is 200-plus years old — there are opportunities to still be a pioneer and build things.”

“In fundraising we call that grass roots,” he added. “I really like that — that’s where I feel at home.”

‘That really changed my life’

Weimann, originally from northern Europe, earned two degrees in International Business: a bachelor’s from AKAD University of Hamburg and a master’s from AKAD University of Dusseldorf.

He began his career in development and fundraising in Cologne, Germany with an NGO — following what he describes as a life-changing experience.

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That experience consisted of eight months he spent living in the slums of El Salvador, where he taught English and sports at a school sponsored by the European Union.

“I loved it,” he said. “I loved seeing how the euros and dollars that arrived really made a huge change.”

“That really changed my life,” he added.

Upon his return to northern Europe, Weimann cold-called the person in charge of the program (Mano Amiga) he had worked for in El Salvador and essentially asked if he could get involved with fundraising.

“He said ‘I need somebody like you right here…come here next week,’” he said. “I made the four-hour drive to Cologne and thought it was going to be a little interview, but he actually approached me to work for him. He said he wanted people who are authentic, went through (the experience in El Salvador), and can tell the story. It was totally mind blowing for me.”

An image of Claus Weimann

Weimann

Weimann said he learned a lot during his experience working for Mano Amiga and it opened doors for more opportunities.

Subsequent to Mano Amiga, Weimann served as director of fundraising at Cologne Business School and director of development at St. Augustin University.

In 2015, Weimann, along with his wife and children, moved to Michigan. Weimann was hired as a senior major gift officer at University of Michigan-Flint. He would go on to become associate director of Education Abroad and Corporate Development Officer.

All about supporting students

Weimann said he was drawn to OUWB by the school’s commitment to being a collaborative, diverse, inclusive, and technologically advanced learning community, as outlined in its mission statement.

“OUWB states that they’re the school that cares about individuals and I really like that — it’s just phenomenal to be part of that,” Weimann said.

Weimann said he has seen the difference such levels of care can make in the lives of people who need it most, including one of his children who has struggled with juvenile arthritis.

“To see how a physician’s empathy and caring can change the world and light it up for a young child really sparked my interest in putting my full passion into supporting students that want to be doctors,” he said.

With regard to immediate goals at OUWB, Weimann said it’s all about supporting students.

“I want to talk about the great stories that happen, the connections we build, how students are supported, and the very exciting programs in the pipeline,” he said.

Weimann said he also hopes to be able to have helped a wider swath of people understand more about the OUWB community and why they should consider supporting the school.

“In a year, I really hope to say that we have gained supporters and ambassadors of the many people we connected with because we inspired them with the work we are doing at OUWB,” he said.

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at adietderich@oakland.edu

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