Dr. Meredith N.
Brunen to lead Hendrix fundraising, alumni relations
CONWAY, Arkansas (January 29, 2024)—Hendrix
College has named Dr. Meredith N. Brunen as its new Vice President for
Advancement, effective May 1, 2024.
“We are excited for Dr. Brunen to join
the Hendrix community and serve on the College’s leadership team in this
critical role,” said Hendrix President Karen Petersen. “She is a seasoned higher
education advancement professional with nearly two decades of successful
experience, and she is very familiar with the role of Advancement in fostering
lifelong relationships for the benefit of the College and its students.”
A northwest Arkansas native, Dr. Brunen
joins the Hendrix community from the University of West Georgia (UWG) in
Carrollton, Georgia, where she serves as Vice President for Advancement and CEO
of UWG Foundations. Under her leadership, UWG had its most successful
fundraising year in history, including a 156% year-over-year increase and the
institution’s largest gift ever. She also played a key role in securing a $1
million gift to establish the Stone Center for Family Business,
Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. At UWG, Brunen successfully led the team to
close out a $50 million campaign.
to joining UWG, Dr. Brunen served in similar executive roles at the University
of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina, University of West
Florida in Pensacola, Florida, and NorthWest Arkansas Community College in
Bentonville, Arkansas. Her
fundraising milestones from these previous roles include a $1.6 million legacy
gift to support international travel for business students (USC Upstate), a $3
million scholarship endowment for immigrants and refugees (UWF), a $15 million
grant from the Walton Family Foundation for Brightwater: A Center for the Study
of Food project (NWACC).
“I am honored to return to my home
state of Arkansas and join the esteemed Hendrix College community as Vice
President of Advancement,” said Brunen. “Under the inspiring leadership of
President Karen Petersen, I am eager to contribute to the College’s legacy of
excellence and lead strategic initiatives that will shape the future of
philanthropy at Hendrix. My family and I are thrilled to embark on this
exciting journey, reuniting with the warmth and hospitality that make Arkansas
is an active member of national organizations, including the Association of
Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the American Association of University Women
(AAUW), and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
She serves on the AFP Global Women’s Impact Committee and Marketing, Awards,
and Communication Committee. On a local level, she is a member of the Newnan
Rotary Club and is the incoming Chair of the Grants Committee.
result of her achievements, Dr. Brunen was named the Outstanding Young Alumni
of the Year by the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health
Professionals in 2019, recognized as a Forty Under 40 by the Northwest Arkansas
Business Journal, and honored as the 2014 Young Woman of the Year by the
Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference.
Recently, she was invited to serve as a founding member of the Dean’s Executive
Advisory Board for the College of Education and Health Professions at the University
Fayetteville native, Dr. Brunen earned three degrees from the University of
Arkansas: a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Middle East
studies, and both master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education leadership.
She is married to Kyle Brunen, who is currently working for Emory University
and is also a University of Arkansas alumnus. They have two young sons, Jude
About Hendrix College
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is
featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You
Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts
colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career
preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors
compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the
United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at www.hendrix.edu.
“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a
commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the
Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity,
service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose