Northwestern Names VP of Advancement

Jackie Davis, a fundraising professional with 23 years of experience in every area of higher education advancement and a Northwestern College employee since 2010, has been named Northwestern’s vice president for advancement following a national search. Currently the director of advancement, Davis will start her new role in July.

As vice president, Davis will report to the president, serve on the president’s cabinet, lead the 10-member advancement team, provide strategic direction for fundraising initiatives to further Northwestern’s vision and mission, and make personal donor visits her top priority.

“Jackie will bring a breadth and depth of experience to her new role that few vice presidents for advancement possess,” says Greg Christy, president. “We are blessed to have a person with Jackie’s skill set, experience and devotion to relationship-building providing leadership for our advancement efforts. She will also be a great addition to our leadership team with her experiences working in student life, advancement, and admissions for nearly 33 years at two institutions. Most importantly, Jackie is a devoted follower of Christ, loves Northwestern, and is passionate about inviting others to invest in the Christian mission of the college.”

“I’m honored and humbled to be asked to serve in this role at a place I dearly love,” says Davis. “It’s a joy to be a part of what Northwestern represents—a strong Christian community with outstanding academics—and I am looking forward to continuing to build relationships on and off campus.”

Davis says her initial plans for her new role include doing a lot of listening. “I want to gain as much information as possible from my staff, the cabinet, trustees, and donors. I look forward to absorbing as much as I can from those who have been leading the institution.” She also plans to study Northwestern’s emerging strategic plan and campus master plan to determine their impacts on the advancement office and its goals. 

A graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry, Davis worked at her alma mater from 1991 to 2010. She began as coordinator of campus wellness and activities and then worked for 16 years in advancement, including roles directing the annual fund, alumni relations, planned giving and major gifts. After serving as the executive director of advancement, she joined Northwestern’s staff in 2010 as director of advancement. She transitioned to the dean of admissions role at President Christy’s request from 2015 to 2022, when she returned to the advancement office.

Davis, who also earned a master’s degree in speech communication at the University of South Dakota, will replace Jay Wielenga. He will retire in June and transition to part-time fundraising work for Northwestern after serving 29 years in the advancement office and 15 as vice president for advancement.