Dr. Alexander JonesDr. Alexander Jones

鶹Ƶ has appointed an experienced leader with a passion for Christian higher education as its new vice president of philanthropy and engagement.

Dr. Alexander Jones, who is currently vice president of institutional advancement at Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, New York, brings more than a decade of experience to his new role at Hope.  His first day will be July 1.

“We are delighted to welcome Alex Jones to 鶹Ƶ following our national search,” said 鶹Ƶ President Matthew A. Scogin. “His history of leading successful fundraising campaigns and deep passion for our Christian mission make him a wonderful addition to our senior leadership team. We are eager to have Alex and his family join our community this summer.”

Carol Van Andel was involved in the search process as a member of the college’s Board of Trustees and was likewise impressed by Jones’ professional experience in combination with his understanding of how students benefit from an outstanding liberal arts education in the context of the historic Christian faith.

“As a proud alumna of 鶹Ƶ, I am looking forward to seeing Alex lead the institution’s philanthropic efforts going forward,” Van Andel said.  “His passion for both the art and science of fundraising was evident during our conversations, and he will bring a new and valued perspective to the team.”

Jones succeeds Jeff Puckett, who retired in 2023 after serving as vice president at the college since 2015.

As vice president, Jones will provide leadership and direction for philanthropy, alumni and family engagement, and philanthropy services at Hope.  The college’s fund-raising priorities include the “Hope Forward” initiative to fully fund tuition for all students.  Built on the pillars of access, generosity and community, the innovative model will ask students to contribute to the college after graduation rather than pay tuition in advance, to provide to future generations the transformative education that others made possible for them.  While “Hope Forward” will be sustained by graduates’ gifts, the college is seeking to raise $1.2 billion for its endowment to establish it for the entire student body.

Hope has more than 35,000 alumni, who span every state and 80 countries.  The family-engagement program serves the families of the college’s current students; enrollment during the 2023-24 school year totaled 3,369 students from 45 states and the District of Columbia and 36 countries.

“鶹Ƶ uniquely brings together its decidedly Christian identity, strength in the liberal arts, and top-tier undergraduate research,” Jones said. “I am beyond excited to support the college’s students, staff, and faculty by stewarding the Philanthropy and Engagement division and the one-of-a-kind ‘Hope Forward’ initiative.  ‘Hope Forward’ represents a powerful opportunity to transform higher education and cultivate a generation of generous leaders, and the chance to be involved in realizing its vision is humbling and an absolute gift.”

Jones has been vice president at Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary since 2021.  He has provided executive leadership for all levels of philanthropy, including advancement services; alumni engagement; grants and corporate relations; and annual, major, principal and planned giving.

Prior to serving at Roberts, Jones led fundraising efforts in the Midwest at Wheaton College (Illinois) as regional director of development for the Great Lakes. Throughout his career in higher education, he has also worked in residence life, service learning, and academic affairs, in addition to serving as a Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Jones is also a scholar at heart, having published more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles that explore how higher education transforms society and students. 

Jones graduated from Wheaton College, where he majored in biblical and theological studies.  He also holds a Master of Arts degree in teaching and intercultural studies from Wheaton, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in higher education from Azusa Pacific University. Jones, his wife Lynn, and their two children look forward to planting roots in western Michigan.