Mississippi College

Alumnus Bill Townsend Named New MC Vice President

March 24, 2008

Mississippi College alumnus Dr. Bill Townsend will soon return to his alma mater as vice president for advancement and legal counsel to the president after holding key campus leadership posts in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Townsend, who assumes his new duties on the Clinton campus in June, is serving as vice president for external relations at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, one of MC's athletic rivals in the American Southwest Conference. He's overseeing the offices of alumni relations, marketing and public relations and responsible for all aspects of fund raising at the 2,700-student school in Belton.

As an MC administrator in Nelson Hall, Townsend will inherit similar duties and drum up support for the Christian university's $65 million "Growing the Vision" campaign to enhance scholarships, academic programs and building projects. He succeeds Danny Rutland, who resigned in fall 2007 to become vice president/chief development officer at Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, Inc.

Townsend is thrilled to be returning to MC.

"It's a great privilege to serve my alma mater and I am honored by the opportunity," Townsend said. "I look forward to working alongside the great leadership team at MC."

Being an MC alumnus and being well-connected with three Baptist-affiliated institutions in the South will help Townsend as he opens doors at 4,600-student MC, the nation's second-oldest Baptist college, President Lee Royce said. "He brings strong credentials as he fills a key leadership role at MC."

Others in the Mississippi College family applaud his hiring, and believe Townsend is the perfect fit for the position. At his office on the third floor of Nelson Hall, he will direct the offices of alumni affairs, public relations and oversee fund-raising throughout the university, including the Mississippi College School of Law, the School of Business and other programs.

"Bill Townsend is coming home, having received his bachelor's and law degree from MC," said Ron Howard, vice president for academic affairs. "Dr. Townsend has the extensive knowledge and the experience necessary to build upon the fine work done by Danny Rutland in institutional advancement," he said. "Fund-raising is more vital than ever before for the private denominational university as we grapple with the challenges of the 21st century, and Bill is wonderfully equipped to lead that effort!"

Founded as Hampstead Academy 182 years ago, MC remains a vibrant institution in 2008 and is poised for more growth.

"MC has a great past and an exciting tomorrow," Townsend said. "I look forward to helping MC accomplish its goals and plans for the future. I'm excited about reconnecting with friends and colleagues at MC and around the state."

Townsend holds a bachelor's degree from MC, and a master of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law and received a Ph.D in higher education leadership from the University of Mississippi. He is married to Cindy Malone Townsend.

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