LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania President R. Owen Williams announced today that after an extensive national search, Kirk Purdom has been named vice president for advancement, effective April 18. Mark Blankenship, associate vice president for alumni affairs, has been serving as acting vice president for alumni and development.
Purdom comes to Transylvania from Kentucky Wesleyan College where he has served as vice president for advancement since July 2008. Prior to that, he was the director of development at Middle Tennessee State University. He has also served as the director of leadership giving for the University of Tennessee and the major gifts officer for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi.
"We are delighted to have Kirk join our team at Transylvania," said Williams. "He was our unanimous choice for this critically important position and we are confident that his experience and approach will help us achieve our goal to become one of the best liberal arts institutions in the nation."
Purdom will serve on the President’s Cabinet and be responsible for all areas of university advancement. Transylvania consistently ranks in the top 20 of the country’s liberal arts institutions in percentage of alumni giving and the university recently concluded its five-year 225th Anniversary Campaign, which raised $47.3 million. Among other responsibilities, Purdom will be in charge of the development and implementation of Transylvania’s next capital campaign and the generation of major and planned gifts.
"I am really excited about joining the Transylvania community," said Purdom. "My experience throughout the interview process was remarkable and confirmed my belief that the strength and quality of this great institution is genuine and real. I am thrilled to work with President Williams, the board of trustees and all members of the Transylvania community to help move the university forward."
Purdom earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Mississippi.
Transylvania University admits students regardless of age, race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, national origin, or any other classification protected by federal or state law or local ordinance.