A longtime trustee of Martin Methodist College with 35 years in the banking industry has been named the new vice president for institutional advancement.
W. David Jones, who has been an executive with SunTrust Bank since 1985, will begin his work at Martin Methodist on Feb. 11. MMC President Ted Brown made the announcement on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
In his role, Jones will oversee the college’s five-member advancement staff whose efforts include fundraising, prospect development, stewardship, alumni relations, communications and advancement services.
“This is a superb appointment for Martin Methodist College’s future.” Brown said. “David Jones already has a long history of affiliation with Martin Methodist people, from faculty, staff, students and trustees to alumni and United Methodist church members. And he brings well-honed management skills and special expertise that will easily transfer to the fundraising task. While we will lose his considerable talents on the Board of Trustees, we see an enormous gain as we begin the roll-out of our Martin 2020 plan.”
Jones is a 1978 graduate of the University of Tennessee and completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in 1992, the SunTrust Management School in Atlanta in 2004, and the Scarlett Executive Program in Nashville in 2010. He joined the Martin Methodist College Board of Trustees while serving as president and chief executive officer of the SunTrust office in Pulaski from 1994 to 2001, and he has continued serving in that role while holding subsequent SunTrust positions in Florence, Ala., and in Nashville.
“I joined the Board of Trustees in 1997, and even though I moved away from Pulaski, I had developed an affinity for Martin Methodist and its mission,” Jones said. “Martin Methodist College’s dedication to recruiting and serving first-generation college students has been at the core of my love for the school. In addition, its affiliation with the United Methodist Church and its focus on church leadership has also contributed to my strong belief in and connection to the school’s vision.
“My 15-year affiliation with Martin Methodist College has allowed me the opportunity to see the great progress the college has made,” he said. “As MMC approaches the beginning stages of its Martin 2020 plan, I see the great opportunity the college has before it.”
Jones went on to say that his various positions with SunTrust have allowed him to work with a number of not-for-profit organizations and institutions.
“I have always had a passion for that work, and this seemed like the perfect time and opportunity,” he said. “In addition, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the leadership that Dr. Ted Brown has provided, along with the significant contributions of the faculty and staff.”
Among the college leadership excited by this appointment is Byron Trauger, chairman of Martin Methodist College’s Board of Trustees.
“David is an excellent listener. He is hard-working and disciplined, and he is an engaging people-person. He also has the practical skills that will make him a great team player under President Brown’s leadership,” Trauger said. “And people trust David. He is a man of integrity.”
Trauger points to Jones’s long-time involvement with the college as a huge benefit.
“Having served the college as a trustee, he knows Martin Methodist inside out,” the chairman said. “He believes in our mission; truth be known, he is passionate about our mission. David knows, down in his bones, the good that Martin Methodist College does for its students and the entire region. That is what will motivate him.”
The position of vice president for advancement became vacant just prior to the fall semester when Dr. Jack Gregory, who had held that post for 12 years, was named to fill the newly created position of dean of students. Gregory came to Martin Methodist in 2000 from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., where he had considerable experience in both areas of advancement and student services.
“Jack Gregory has always been such a nurturing presence on campus with our students,” Brown said, “despite the fact that his advancement assignment was largely off campus. As we considered the establishment of the dean of students position to serve our growing student body, it was so natural to ask ‘Dr. G,’ as he is known to students, to take that on. In just a few months in the new role he has made a significant impact with students. Dr. Jack Gregory has served the college with distinction for 12 years as our senior advancement officer, and we look forward to his continued service in this important new role.”
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