Kentucky Wesleyan Announces Appointment of New Vice President of Development

Owensboro, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2015) – Kentucky Wesleyan College President Barton D. Darrell announces the appointment of Thomas W. Keith as vice president for development with responsibility for development, alumni relations and public relations functions. Keith comes to Wesleyan from Middle Tennessee State University, where he has served as director of development for the Jennings A. Jones College of Business since 2012.

“Tom understands that Kentucky Wesleyan has a special mission, not just to prepare graduates for careers, but for callings,” remarked President Darrell. “Tom was in high demand, but he was drawn to what we do here and saw Wesleyan and Owensboro as the place for himself and his family. He has been successful in development at every level, and he becomes part of a team that will help take Wesleyan to the college’s greatest heights.”

Keith was associate athletics director for development at St. Louis University from 2009 – 2012, where he managed all athletic development operations and increased annual unrestricted giving to the Billiken Club by 50 percent.

He was director of development for the University of Louisville Athletics Association, Inc. from 2006 – 2009 and assistant director of business development at the University of Louisville College of Business from 2005 – 2006. Keith played an instrumental role in the $72 million expansion campaign for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Keith served as associate director of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation and external affairs for Western Kentucky University Athletics from 2001 – 2005, where he helped engineer a 60 percent increase in both annual gift revenues and number of donors, while also managing donor hospitality and luxury suite operations at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Keith is a native of Louisville and earned a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville and dual master’s degrees in business administration and education from the University of Louisville. He and his wife, Kendra, have two children. An active community leader, he is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Middle Tennessee and volunteers with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“As a native of the Bluegrass State, I have long been familiar with Kentucky Wesleyan College’s reputation as a superior institution. The college has done amazing things in higher education for over 150 years,” said Keith. “I look forward to meeting Wesleyan alumni throughout the country, and we can’t wait to immerse ourselves in the progressive community of Owensboro.”

Keith will begin at Kentucky Wesleyan on Feb. 3.

What they are saying about Tom Keith:

Dr. David J. Urban
Dean, Jones College of Business
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

“Tom has built partnerships with several businesses that have benefited students via scholarships, internships and full-time employment.

He has established himself as a leader in the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the main professional organization for college advancement and marketing professionals, and received the first-ever “Mentor of the Year” award from the regional nine-state CASE organization one year ago.

We wish Tom well, but we will miss his energy, his good humor and his professionalism.”

Robert Young
Partner – English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley
Chair, American Bar Association Law Practice Division
Bowling Green, Kentucky

“I have known Tom since I served on the Western Kentucky University Hilltopper Athletic Foundation Board and as president. Tom worked for the foundation during that time. Tom was a tireless worker who was dedicated to the work of the HAF. What was so impressive was the value Tom placed on getting to know the members and forging personal relationships. Many of the relationships continue today. Tom is one of the most genuine people I have ever known. Everyone knows what a great college Kentucky Wesleyan is, and Tom will be a perfect fit.”

Dr. Wood Selig
Director of Athletics
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 

“I had the pleasure of working with Tom for several years while serving as athletic director at Western Kentucky University while Tom was our senior athletic development assistant. He is a dynamic hire by President Bart Darrell and Wesleyan. Funding resources for excellence in higher education continue to be a primary challenge and concern for every institution. Tom Keith will be relentless in his pursuit of funding opportunities to assist Kentucky Wesleyan in not only maintaining, but strengthening, their academic and institutional excellence, and thereby, helping create a competitive advantage for the college. I applaud Tom’s hire. The entire Wesleyan and Owensboro communities will truly enjoy having him as part of their family.”

Cooper Jones
Executive Associate Athletic Director for Development
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

“Kentucky Wesleyan has made an outstanding choice by adding Tom as their vice president for development. Not only is Tom an excellent fundraiser, his unique skill set and wide-ranging background make him a perfect fit for the job.

I also applaud President Darrell’s vision and abilities to attract a professional such as Tom to his senior staff and know that Tom’s personal demeanor and track record of success will serve Kentucky Wesleyan well in the years to come.

I’m thrilled that Tom will be able to return to his roots in the Commonwealth and look forward to watching his successes, as well as those of Kentucky Wesleyan, in the very near future.”

Dr. Ian Patrick
Assistant Vice President
Bellarmine University
Louisville, Kentucky

“I have followed Tom’s career starting as a classmate in graduate school and fellow advancement professional. I know firsthand the collaborative and assertive approach he brings to all situations he faces.  He also cares about the people he works with as evidenced by his selection as the Mentor of the Year in 2014 by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Most importantly, he will be a great addition to the Kentucky Wesleyan and Owensboro communities.”

Sheila Manion
Interim Vice President of Development
St. Louis University
St. Louis, Missouri

“Tom will be an excellent addition to your team. He is an experienced fundraising professional, and he is strategic and thoughtful in his approach to cultivation and stewardship. Tom is a big picture thinker and is always working in the best interest of the institution. “