(JACKSON, Miss.) — The Division of Institutional Advancement (DIA) at Jackson State University and the JSU National Alumni Association, Inc., (JSUNAA) are pleased to announce the appointment of David Christopher Howard as the new director of Alumni and Constituency Relations. Howard was named interim in January.
“I appreciate the opportunity to work with DIA and the JSUNAA to increase alumni giving and support worldwide,” Howard said. “Our alumni are relevant and respect the mission and service of JSU. We are working together and will continue our collaboration to keep our alumni informed and actively engaged in the life of “Thee I Love.”
Howard joined JSU in 2005 as the operations staff assistant in the Department of Finance. He later began working for DIA in 2010 and has since served as a development officer and manager of Information Systems. Howard also served as the researcher/programmer analyst for Institutional Advancement.
“We are excited about David Howard’s promotion in Institutional Advancement,” said Veronica M. Cohen, vice president for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs. “He has proven that he is highly capable in working with the JSUNAA to move the association to new levels of alumni engagement and productivity, and he has the skills and knowledge to help garner additional alumni support to move JSU forward.”
During his tenure, Howard started the online giving process in DIA, managed email campaigns, assisted with phonathons, established scholarships, generated reports, and worked to enhance major gift cultivation and solicitation. In addition, he has served on several committees in DIA, including the inauguration of President William B. Bynum, Jr., First Lady’s Scholarship Luncheon, and the 2020 Legacy Wall Unveiling.
According to Dr. Earlexia M. Norwood, president of the JSU National Alumni Association, Inc., “JSUNAA is Tiger Strong and Student Focused. Our top priorities are raising funds for our students ($1 million by April 9, 2022, with the Blue Tie Gala, and 100 percent of our alumni chapters endowed), increasing student enrollment to more than 8,000 through our student recruitment efforts, and increasing alumni engagement in all demographics. Howard, as an alumnus, brings commitment, bold initiatives, and data-driven strategies to lead us in being successful with our efforts.”
Howard has assisted with special fundraisers, including Day of Giving, Yearly Employee Support (Y.E.S), Home Depot, Giving Cords and Legacy Brick campaigns. In August 2020, Howard served as the project manager for the annual “JSU Day of Giving” event. In working with DIA staff, the initial fundraising goal was $400,000; however, the team surpassed the goal by raising $600,000 that includes contributions from alumni individuals and chapters, fraternities, sororities, community organizations and more. He is currently serving as project manager for the 2021 JSU Day of Giving.
In his former position as interim director of Alumni and Constituency Relations, Howard has used his love and enthusiasm for JSU by working collaboratively with the JSUNAA to participate in regional and JSUNAA Leadership Development meetings, and he and his staff have coordinated participation in Commencement for the Golden Class of 1970 and 1971. He is committed to student engagement and is actively working with the Pre-Alumni Council to engage students in activities to increase their understanding of the JSUNAA and contributions of JSU. Howard and his team plan to implement new outreach programs to build alumni loyalty, enhance financial giving and the alumni participation rate (APR) to increase corporate giving to Jackson State University.
Howard is a native of Clarksdale, Mississippi. He is a 2003 graduate of JSU, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He has worked in DIA for more than a decade in several positions, including development officer/manager of information systems, researcher/program analyst and interim director of Alumni and Constituency Relations.