Bethel University Names New Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Lissa Diaz

Brent LaVigne, Ph.D., has been named Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Bethel University, and began his new role Sept. 6.

LaVigne comes to Bethel with more than a decade of experience in Christian higher education, serving at Southern Nazarene University (SNU), in Bethany, Okla., a fellow Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) institution, since 2010. His roles ranged from staff member, to faculty member to administrator.

“I have seen the power of education when God is at the core of what we teach and how we act. As an administrator and university partner with donors, I have seen God provide ways financially for student learning, life change and calling to take place,” LaVigne says.

He most recently served as Vice President for University Relations at SNU, overseeing advancement, alumni and foundation activities for the university. During his tenure, he and his team increased purposeful and strategic donor interactions by 600%, reached record highs in annual giving and endowment giving, and this spring lead a fundraising initiative that raised $4.5 million dollars in new unrestricted gifts, among other accolades. His previous roles in higher education include Professor and Department Chair in the School of Business and Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Programs at SNU.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. LaVigne join our cabinet leadership team at Bethel University,” says Interim President Barbara Bellefeuille, Ed.D. “His experience in, and love for, Christ-centered higher education echoes the mission of Bethel University, and his track record of success, both in advancement strategy and team leadership, makes him a great fit for this role.”

LaVigne is a graduate of Southern Nazarene University, with a B.S. in Business Administration. He earned his master’s degree in Management from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration from Oklahoma State University. He also has missionary experience, having served in Swaziland, Africa, as an on-site coordinator.

"I am grateful and excited to begin serving at Bethel University as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement,” LaVigne says. “As I have read the history of Bethel University and spent time with our interim president, it is evident that the university is built on faith in God, excellence in teaching, and service to our world. I look forward to working with Bethel University alumni, donors, and the Institutional Advancement team to enable the education and vocational calling of Bethel students."  

LaVigne and his wife Michaele have been married 16 years and have two young children, Austin and Galilee. Michaele is a pastor and ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene as well as a published author and speaker. Their early years of marriage were spent in central Ohio and they are looking forward to returning to the Midwest and becoming part of the Bethel community.

In his new role, LaVigne will oversee Bethel’s advancement, alumni, and marketing and communications teams.

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