Mount Vernon Nazarene University President Henry W. Spaulding II announced the appointment of James Smith to the position of vice president for University Relations as of 1 June.
“Rev. James Smith has worked very effectively for 10 years in enrollment helping the university stabilize and strengthen enrollment," Spaulding said. "Smith will bring the same vision and passion to his work in University Relations. He has rich connections with alumni, which will enhance his capacity to build stronger financial support for the work of MVNU."
Smith has a deep history with MVNU and the Church of the Nazarene's USA/Canada Region. His family has been involved with MVNC/MVNU since its founding in 1968. His parents, Jim (’72, ’85) and Terri (Clouse ’85) Smith, are both alumni who returned with two young children in tow to finish their bachelor’s degrees when MVNU became a four-year institution. During those years, James spent countless hours on campus after school and on breaks — attending classes alongside his parents, going to chapel in the old multi-purpose building, tending to their campus garden, and reading in the library. He fell in love with MVNU and always knew he wanted to return for his own education.
After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene College in 1999, James and his wife, Kelly (’99), served in various ministry roles at Nazarene churches in Marietta, Sidney, Findlay, and Bowling Green, Ohio.
James returned to campus in 2008 as the director of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Recruitment (2008-2013). Since that time he also served as assistant vice president of Enrollment Management (2013-2015), associate vice president of Enrollment Management (2015-2017), and vice president of Enrollment Management and Marketing (2017-2018).
“It has been an honor and privilege to contribute to the life of MVNU over the past 10 years," James said. "I have a deep love for our campuses and the people in them, but I also love the campus community that expands beyond these locations. I realize that the name MVNU does not just represent the physical campuses; it represents a people.
“The opportunity to invest more deeply in the lives and stories of those people, both on our campuses and around the world, brings me great joy and excitement. The work of university relations, alumni, and fundraising are never finished, and I know we have a community of alumni and friends who are committed to our mission and will help us achieve anything the Lord puts before us. As we enter into the year of our 50th anniversary celebration, I am ready to help us dream, plan, and find the resources we will need for our next 50 years!”
Outside of his work at MVNU, Smith is recognized for his expertise in enrollment management. He has served terms as the chairperson of the State of Ohio ACT Council, Ohio Private College Admissions Directors, and Nazarene Enrollment Officers Network. He has also served on the Ohio College Credit Plus Advisory Committee, the executive board of the Ohio Association for College Admissions Counseling, the executive board of the State of Ohio ACT Council, and the Ohio ACT Research Council.
Smith graduated from MVNU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and youth ministry and has a Master of Arts degree in educational ministry from Huntington University. James and Kelly have four children, Halle (12), Judah (9), Phineas (8), and Asher (6).