University of the Ozarks alumnus Brian W. Henderson has been named the new director of annual giving and alumni engagement at the University, according to Lori McBee, vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. He will begin his new duties on Aug. 3.
McBee also announced two promotions within the advancement office that will be effective July 1: Rebecca Lester will be the director of foundation relations and major gifts, and Mary Jane Spillers will serve as director of operations, data and research.
A 2002 graduate of Ozarks, Henderson has worked in higher education since 2007 and has been at the University of Arkansas since 2013, where he served as the director of employer relations and student placement in the College of Engineering.
“I am happy to have Brian joining our team,” McBee said. “He brings a great deal of experience in relationship building and stewardship of donors and alumni. Because Brian is an Ozarks graduate, he personally understands the value of the annual fund and will be a great leader in his role with donors and our alumni.”
At Ozarks, Henderson will manage the day-to-day operations of all annual giving, athletic giving and alumni engagement initiatives, including donor research and identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship elements of the University’s fundraising cycle. He will also oversee alumni engagement and alumni programing.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Ozarks family,” Henderson said. “I have a deep passion for the University of the Ozarks and the Clarksville community and feel this is a perfect place for my faith and work to mesh in showing God’s love to others. This opportunity is more than a just a job to me. My wife and all of her family are from Clarksville and I have numerous family ties to the area as well. I look forward to building new relationships with Ozarks alumni and, more importantly, I look forward to connecting with alumni that I have lost contact with over the years. Ozarks is a special place and I look forward to working closely with our donors and alumni to make it even more special for future generations.”
“I have more than 12 years of higher education experience and in my wildest dreams would have never thought returning to Ozarks would be a possibility. I am so thankful for this opportunity and look forward to advancing Ozarks mission and leading the annual fund and alumni engagement office.”
Prior to joining University of Arkansas, Henderson was the director of Student Services for the College of Business at UA-Little Rock from 2009 to 2012. He also worked at Arkansas Tech University from 2007 to 2009 in several positions, including career development specialist/instructor and director of intramural sports and recreation.
A native of Berryville, Ark., Henderson was a basketball standout at Ozarks, earning team MVP and team captain honors in 2002. After graduating from Ozarks, he went on to earn a master’s degree in health and human performance from Northwestern State University in Louisiana in 2004.
Henderson and his wife, Jaye, have two sons, Hayes, 8, and Harris, 4. Jaye, a native of Clarksville and professor of nursing at University of Arkansas, recently accepted a new teaching position at Arkansas Tech University.
Henderson’s hobbies include, spending time with family, traveling, playing sports with his boys, golfing, and laying on the beach listening to music when not in Arkansas.