OBU is pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Will Smallwood to senior vice president for advancement and university relations. The transition was effective March 1. Smallwood has served at OBU since 2010 as vice president for university advancement.
In that capacity, Smallwood has led the development team as well as the alumni relations team. He serves as the university’s chief development officer and advises the president on management and operation of university development, as well as donor relations.
During his tenure, OBU launched the Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign, the largest campaign in school history, with a five-year goal of $42 million. Smallwood’s team surpassed that goal more than a year ahead of schedule, and are now working toward the goal of an additional $18 million to be raised by December 2018.
“To be recognized by the university and President Whitlock in this way is an honor,” Smallwood said. “OBU is a special place, and I’m excited every day to serve at a university that is in the business of producing world changers … students who are transformed on Bison Hill and in turn impact those around them and around the world. I have the privilege of working with a great team of people, who care deeply about this university, and to work with a leadership team that has a vision to take OBU to even greater heights of success. I am energized to move ahead with the great work of this university."
As part of this transition, the university’s marketing and communications team will join development and alumni in reporting to Smallwood. This brings together three public-facing units of the university, which share many common goals and audiences.
“I'm excited to have the opportunity to work closely with Paula Gower, our associate vice president for marketing and communications, and her excellent team. Many universities employ this organizational model, with communications, development and alumni under the same umbrella. These teams already work closely together on many university projects, which will help make this a smooth and positive transition. More than anything, I look forward to what we can accomplish with the combined set of incredible talents and skills among these team members.”
Dr. David W. Whitlock, OBU president, is grateful for the contributions Smallwood has made and will continue to make at OBU. “Dr. Smallwood has been a vital part of our team at OBU these past six years. His leadership, vision, dedication, and focus on the goals of the university have helped us achieve remarkable results. We’ve made huge strides in the successes of our capital campaign and other fundraising initiatives, as well as tremendous advances in our alumni relations efforts. We are excited to bring the communications team into the fold with development and alumni, and for Dr. Smallwood to continue to lead in these areas for many years to come.”
Prior to joining OBU in 2010, Smallwood served as director of development for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, serving the seminary in that capacity for four years. He previously worked in Florida as a commercial printing sales consultant for Fortune 500 firm Consolidated Graphics. He also served as a bi-vocational pastor in Kentucky and preaches frequently at churches in Oklahoma.
He and his wife, Caroline, are members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, and he serves on the Shawnee Airport Advisory Board. A native of Ocala, Florida, Smallwood earned a bachelor's degree in public relations from the University of Florida. He earned a master's degree in theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed his doctorate of philosophy in the area of American religious history and biblical spirituality, also from Southern.