After 25 years in professional sales and marketing, a project connected with LifeSprings near Emmanuel reacquainted Ms. Vinson with her alma mater.
Ms. Vinson lived in Charlotte, NC, working for Inspiration Ministries and was asked to speak at one of Emmanuel’s convocation services, which later led to an invitation to serve on Emmanuel’s Board of Trustees.
After finishing a 40-day fast in March of 2010, Ms. Vinson felt like God was stirring her nest, but was not sure what He was asking her to do. She attended a board meeting at EC where former President Michael Stewart approached Vinson about joining the Emmanuel team as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing.
Ms. Vinson has served in that capacity for the past six years but will be leaving Emmanuel at the end of the month to take a position at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. to lead their undergraduate admissions efforts on the heels of doing that very thing in her successful tenure at Emmanuel.
The move is a difficult one for Ms. Vinson as, she says, Emmanuel College holds a special place in her heart.
“I came to Emmanuel as a student over 30 years ago and found my voice and returned to find my mission,” Vinson said. “My mission is to help college students find their purpose and their destiny.”
During her time at Emmanuel, Vinson found that she was able to impact the lives of others and help them find their voice and mission, just like she did. One such student was her own mother who had relocated with her and in May of 2014 walked across the stage at EC to receive her Associate of Arts at age 73.
“Some of the students I have connected with may not have looked that great on paper initially, but, after reading their stories and looking at them as a whole person, they were given second chances at a college education,” Vinson said. “Then to sit on that graduation stage and see them walk across stage messes me up every time." I had that experience in May when a young man who was walking across stage stopped to give me a hug. He said, ‘“Miss Wendy, you believed in me when no one else did, You gave me a chance, and now I’m walking across this stage to receive my diploma.”’ You do not always get those opportunities. It’s been a “pay It back experience for me at Emmanuel.”
When asked about the success she has had during her tenure at Emmanuel, Ms. Vinson was quick to mention her team.
“I was given the amazing opportunity to lead a team of professionals who work tirelessly and give their all for the sake of the Kingdom,” Vinson said. “Their passion is the same as mine as they desire to see students given a chance to fulfill their purpose and destiny in life.”
Ms. Vinson’s hope for the future of Emmanuel is for the Admissions Team to continue to be interested in a student’s story, not just GPA and test scores.
“I believe when we hear peoples’ stories, that changes things,” Vinson said. “Students cease to look like every other prospective student; they become a colorful expression of what God may be doing or saying in their lives.”
During her tenure, the Enrollment Management and Marketing team has expanded the Emmanuel brand, lowered the discount rate, hosted successful events, and have helped increase enrollment numbers. However, accomplishments do not matter as much to Vinson as the success stories she has witnessed first-hand of students who came to Emmanuel College and found their purpose.
“If I could leave a legacy it would be to know someone’s story and not just judge by what you see on paper and that Emmanuel College will always be that college that looks at the whole picture and does not judge a student only by what is seen on paper.”
Emmanuel College President, Dr. Ron White is thankful for Vinson and her leadership.
“Wendy has been a resourceful and positive leader who has led the College to increases in enrollment during her tenure,” he said. “We wish her the best in her new position and thank her for her loyal years of service to Emmanuel College.”
Vinson is excited to continue her journey at Converse College and is grateful to EC for giving her the opportunity to help prospective students achieve their goals to earn a college education.
“I will forever be grateful to Emmanuel College for allowing me the opportunity to take all of my successful years of experience in sales and marketing and apply them to a new-found passion for higher education,” she said. “I will miss the faith-based connection to a campus of believers but I believe God calls us to be salt and light. There are students at Converse who need what I have to offer both professionally and spiritually, and that is something I’m looking forward to.”