Alumnus Brian Gardner hired as VP for advancement

Brian Gardner has been hired as VP of advancement at George Fox.Gardner, a 1989 George Fox graduate, returns to the university after helping raise $260 million for Wheaton College's 'Promise of Wheaton' campaign

An alumnus with nearly 15 years of gift development experience will return to serve George Fox University as the school’s next vice president for university advancement on Feb. 20.

Brian Gardner, director of development at Wheaton College, has enjoyed success securing major gifts and managing campaigns. He played an integral role in Wheaton College's recent $260 million "Promise of Wheaton" campaign that was completed this past June. Since 2007, Gardner has overseen the college's major gift development program and capital and endowment fundraising initiatives through the office of development. He was also responsible for directing an initiative between 2008 and 2010 among physicians for the construction of the college’s new science center.

From 1997 to 2007, Gardner served as regional director of development in the western U.S., where he proposed and negotiated charitable investments in Wheaton’s mission among alumni, parents, and friends of the college. Gardner was also responsible for training his regional director colleagues from 2002 to 2007.

"I am very happy that Brian is returning to our George Fox community,” says Robin Baker, president. “He's an alumnus, a former admissions staff member and a proven advancement leader at Wheaton College. We have a bold vision for the future of George Fox University and I believe Brian has the experience and talents to help us achieve our goals."

Rob Westervelt, executive vice president of advancement and integrated marketing, has overseen the recruitment of Gardner to George Fox. “I can’t imagine a more qualified person to fill this role,” says Westervelt. “His connections to George Fox are deep and much of his work has been on the West Coast. Brian is definitely the right person to lead our advancement effort.”

Prior to his service at Wheaton, Gardner worked at AirTouch Communications, a predecessor to Verizon Wireless, in customer service operations from 1994 to 1997. In 1997, Gardner received AirTouch’s Service Legend award. He was instrumental in George Fox’s growth in enrollment from 1989 to 1993 as an admissions representative for D.H. Dagley Associates, a contracted vendor of undergraduate student recruitment at the university from 1986 to 1993. Gardner was awarded Dagley’s Associate of the Year in 1990.

As vice president of university advancement, Gardner will oversee all gift development and external relations programs of the university.

“I value George Fox not only for my positive experience as a student, but for how that experience prepared me for the life God has given me to live,” Gardner states. "My Christian faith, intellectual curiosity, social compassion, and personal character were all shaped by George Fox. In addition to these traits, the university now intentionally develops professional competence in graduates, allowing them to ably enter fields such as business, education, engineering and healthcare. It is a privilege to help President Baker advance the George Fox experience so that future generations of fellow alumni may continue to comprehensively serve the needs of the world to which they are called.”

Gardner earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from George Fox. He also earned a PhD in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University Chicago and an MBA from Seattle Pacific University. He is a member of Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP).