Following a national search, Oglethorpe has named Juan A. McGruder, PhD as its new Vice President for Advancement, effective February 1, 2021. Dr. McGruder will lead and grow Oglethorpe’s fundraising and alumni relations efforts.
Currently, Dr. McGruder is Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Junior Achievement of Georgia, where he has been responsible for state-wide comprehensive resource development activities, managing philanthropic relationships with more than 200 corporations, and partnering with the organization’s 85 board members on strategy and engagement.
“Dr. McGruder is an ideal addition to Oglethorpe’s leadership team, bringing decades of fundraising experience and a deep Atlanta connection,” said Oglethorpe University President Nick Ladany. “I believe his experience and skills will build, strengthen, and move our advancement efforts forward in substantive ways.”
“I am absolutely thrilled and indeed grateful to join Dr. Ladany and his cabinet at the outset of his tenure,” said Dr. McGruder. “I am looking forward to working with Oglethorpe’s talented and dedicated faculty, administration, alumni and students to champion the university’s ambitious strategic priorities and its unique approach to undergraduate, interdisciplinary learning as a considerable asset to our great city.
This is an exceptional opportunity to help leverage Oglethorpe’s strong liberal arts and science core, combined with its strength areas such as business and arts, to pursue untapped partnerships and philanthropic opportunities.”
Previously, Dr. McGruder spent 13 years in progressive roles at Georgia Institute of Technology, as the first director of development for the School of Computer Science, associate director of development for the College of Computing, and ultimately director of development for the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts during the Institute’s historic $1.5 billion campaign. He also held advancement leadership positions at Morehouse School of Medicine and Clark Atlanta University. He began his career at the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education at the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, DC.
Dr. McGruder completed a doctorate in education and human development at Vanderbilt University, where his research centered on HBCUs and institutional advancement. He earned a master’s degree in administration, planning, and social policy at Harvard University; a master’s degree in counseling and human development from Clark Atlanta University; an Education Specialist degree in student affairs from Western Kentucky University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science/pre-law from Clark College.
Dr. McGruder holds the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) international professional designation and served as the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Atlanta and Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club. He is also a member of the 2018 Class of Leadership Atlanta.
Members of the search committee for the position included Dr. Lea Alford, assistant professor of biology; Matt Huff, assistant professor of theatre; Tanya Thompson, chief information officer; Virginia Bennett, an Oglethorpe trustee; and Jillian Martin, an Oglethorpe alumna.