Lynchburg College has named Dr. J. Michael Bonnette as the senior vice president for advancement.
Dr. Bonnette has more than 10 years of experience in advancement, including a PhD dissertation focused on fundraising in higher education, as well as a background in business and communications. Beginning May 2, he will lead LC’s development and alumni relations teams in the execution of fundraising and engagement strategies to support current operations and future growth.
“We were impressed with the breadth and depth of Mike Bonnette’s experience, but his enthusiasm for serving Lynchburg College makes him a perfect fit for this position,” said Dr. Kenneth R. Garren, president of Lynchburg College. “He has demonstrated a passion for higher education and the ability to find solutions to fundraising challenges. His leadership will provide us with much-needed guidance as we finalize and implement a strategic plan that prepares Lynchburg College for a bright future.”
Dr. Bonnette is excited to meet more people in the LC community and help promote the institution. “Lynchburg College has a long tradition of excellence in education, and I look forward to working with the advancement team to share the story of the College’s success in a way that increases private philanthropic support for its students and academic programs.”
Since January 2013, Dr. Bonnette has served as the assistant vice chancellor for development at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, where he increased the amount of scholarships awarded to students from private funding sources and implemented capital fundraising campaigns, in addition to other accomplishments. Earlier, he served as associate director for development at the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, where he rebuilt the development and stewardship programs. He also served in several development and alumni programming positions at Clemson University.
Prior to his work in higher education, he was a project manager for a technology firm that provides and analyzes data for the agricultural chemical industry.
Dr. Bonnette earned three degrees from Clemson University, completing his Ph.D. in 2015 with a dissertation entitled, “A Case Study for Complex Systems Leadership in Higher Education Fundraising.”
Dr. Bonnette said he was drawn to the position at Lynchburg College by the institution’s size and history, but getting to know the faculty and staff at the College increased his interest. “My family and I are committed to becoming a part of the Lynchburg community and doing all we can to continue the success of the College,” he said.