by Dana McDermid
On the outskirts of Petersburg, the campus of Virginia State University reminds a visitor of an Ivy League school with its older brick buildings and well-kept lawns. I’m here to meet with Nancy Jones, who became the university’s Director of Development last June. As Director of Development, Jones melds financial know-how with marketing and fundraising skills to ensure the financial future of VSU.
For 20 years, her career path has honed skills she uses in her current position. She graduated from Howard University, New Brunswick Theological Seminary and Claremont School of Theology with doctoral studies at the Claremont Graduate University. She worked as a marketing assistant at HBO before becoming an event coordinator for major sports events. Her experience as an event coordinator with its training in logistics paid off when she became involved with the United Negro College Fund and transitioned to traditional fundraising.
Jones was living and working in California at Claremont School of Theology where she was in charge of the Annual Fund when Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans. It left Dillard University 95 percent destroyed. She was so touched by the situation, she knew she had to do something and Dillard University was looking for a director of development. This was a perfect match.