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Ballenger joins MVNU as Director of the University Fund

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Mount Vernon Nazarene University President Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II, has announced the appointment of Jill Ballenger as Director of the University Fund and Community Relations.

“The University Fund is an important component of our overall development effort,” said Spaulding. “Our future depends on a wide network of friends and support for the University. Jill brings with her a deep passion for MVNU and a capacity to present that message to our donors. She will help make the case for MVNU across the region and especially in the city of Mount Vernon.”

Ballenger is a graduate of Mount Vernon High School and a 1994 graduate of MVNU, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She has served the university as a marketing recruiter for the adult education program, resident director and managed the phonathon campaign. In the private sector, she was a senior account executive for The Gordon Flesch Co., and development coordinator for the Foundation for Knox Community Hospital. Her husband, John, is an assistant professor of English for MVNU, and they own Happy Bean Coffee Shop in downtown Mount Vernon.

“We needed a person with knowledge of our campus community and culture who truly cares about our students, our alumni and our campus community and Jill is a perfect fit,” said Vice President for University Relations James Smith.

In this role, Ballenger will develop short- and long-term plans for annual giving; set goals and objectives aligning with the university’s five-year advancement plan; create and implement a marketing and communications strategy to promote the University Fund; develop partnerships with alumni, donors and friends; manage volunteers and student workers; and assist with special events, among other responsibilities.

“As a student, MVNU gave me lifelong friendships, a well-rounded education and helped to shape me into an active, thinking Christian,” said Ballenger. “As a former staff member, I am able to better understand the potential of the university and how that potential can be enhanced by proper funding.”

Ballenger will step into her new role on Oct. 10, and is looking forward to utilizing her skills and connections to further MVNU’s mission.

“There are endless stories to share about how our current faculty, staff, students and alumni are making a difference locally and throughout the world,” Ballenger said. “I am excited to work to grow the University Fund by sharing those stories. My focus will be on creating partnerships with donors that allow them to see the dramatic and positive impact of their investment.”

The University Fund is a powerful source of revenue that provides an immediate impact on scholarships, academics, student life and the discovery of purpose.

“A healthy University Fund is a key component to any university’s fundraising efforts as it underwrites everything MVNU does and helps us accomplish our mission and vision,” said Assistant Vice President for Development Justin Nowicki. “As MVNU continues to grow and expand, we need to add to our wonderful group of donors and grow our University Fund substantially. The addition of Jill in her role as director of the University Fund will allow us to engage new donors, re-engage those who have supported us in the past, and help move MVNU toward a very bright future.”

For more information on the University Fund and how to give to MVNU, visit

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 31 states and 22 countries/U.S. territories.