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King University News :: Giving Back to King; Alumni Advisory Council Provides Support

Love for King and the University’s traditions of a top-notch Christian liberal arts education are among the many reasons 15 alumni have come together to form the King University Alumni Advisory Council.

Michael Webb, the new director of alumni relations for King, said, “The alumni advisory council will provide another avenue to represent the needs and concerns of the alumni community. This diverse group is representative of the larger alumni body. The council essentially includes two representatives from each decade beginning with the 1950’s, a balance of male and female representation, a diversity of professions and locations, and includes representation from the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) alumni. The group also has an alumnus who is a current faculty member at King.

The council is a group of ambassadors who will provide feedback to the University as well as serving as a conduit for alumni. The members serving on the council will support the University in a variety of ways, including making recommendations, actively engaging through participation in committees, particularly in areas such as Enrollment Management, fundraising, facilities, and career support.

“We wanted to provide an engaged group who can help us actively stay connected with alumni,” commented Webb. “This council provides an additional resource for alumni to have a fellow alumna or alumnus with which to share ideas or concerns.” The council members, who rotate every two years, will serve as ambassadors for the University and its alumni.

Currently, the alumni advisory council members include Bill English (’58), Jim Casada (’64), Jim Jordan (’71), John Levicki (’75), Leisa Jo Jenkins (’80), Sharon Nash (’83), Lori Byington (’85), Kimberly Hutchison Lohmeyer (’93), Jason Mumpower (’95), LeeAnna Hungerford (’04), Calvin McRae (’07), Steven Mueller (’11) (’12), and Maggie Lawson Mueller (’13). GPS alumni representatives are Mary Lee Williams (’90) (’03) and Christie Connatser (’11).

“Being engaged and involved, that, for me, is what the alumni advisory council is all about,” said Denise Asbury, director of Development at King. “The council is also a sounding board to which alumni can reach out – share ideas, concerns, and make recommendations.”

Council member Kimberly Hutchison Lohmeyer received her BS in Biology from King in 1993. Currently, she works as a research entomologist for Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory in Kerrville, Texas. She commented on the importance of serving on the council and volunteering for King, saying, “King is such an exceptional place and holds a special place in my heart. My experiences at King impacted my life in a huge way. At King, I received a sound science education that prepared me for graduate school; I received a true liberal arts education that I use every day. I also met my future husband, Rob (’93), and I made lifelong friendships. In a world full of large, impersonal universities, King is a rare place that offers a unique, life-changing education. I am looking forward to serving on the alumni advisory council. I hope to give back in some small way to the institution that gave me so much.”

Jason Mumpower, class of 1995, is the chief of staff for the Office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. He added, “It is my hope that King alumni can continue to hold dear to their memories and experiences gained at the (College) University through active alumni participation. It is our duty as alumni to re-gift the treasures we gleaned to future King students. We do this by supporting King from wherever we are through word of mouth, financial contributions, and networking.”

To date, the council has met twice, with the most recent meeting taking place on Oct. 25, 2014. During the meeting, council members received a personal update from the board of trustees and selected Heather Barkley Whitney (’03) to serve as the alumni representative for the presidential selection committee following receipt of nomination submissions from their peers. They also discussed future alumni events and the formation of an executive committee.

“King has given me so much,” said Calvin McRae (’07), associate consultant for Brass Tactics Consulting in Washington, D.C. “[King] prepared me for a career, a life of dignity, and taught me the importance of family. I want to support the King family and bring others into our community.”

Perhaps council member Jim Jordan summed it up best when asked the question, why is serving on the alumni advisory council or volunteering at King important to you? He responded by saying “To see that the focus and the foundation of King University remain on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

At its core, for 147 years, what has made this University an exceptional institution of higher learning isn’t the number of degrees offered, nor is it the buildings or the number of campuses and instructional sites. King University, founded as King College in 1867, is the faculty, the staff, the students, and the alumni, who strive daily to adhere to the traditions and mission this great School was founded on - to build meaningful lives of achievement and cultural transformation in Christ.