Wheaton College President Philip Ryken is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Kirk D. Farney as Vice President for Advancement & Alumni Relations.
Farney will be responsible to the President for overseeing the Advancement & Alumni Relations Division, which includes Alumni Relations, Development, Gift Planning, Institutional Partnerships, Marketing Communications and Advancement Services.
Farney graduated from Wheaton College in 1998 with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, with a concentration in Historical Theology and Church History. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; a Master of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University; and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Notre Dame, with a concentration in American History and American Religious History. He is completing a Ph.D. in American Religious History at the University of Notre Dame, where Dr. Mark Noll ’68 is his adviser.
Prior to his doctoral studies, Farney worked in the banking industry for 26 years, with roles at J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. and its merged firms, First Chicago, First Chicago NBD and Bank One, most recently as Global Head of Asset-Backed Finance. Farney has served as a frequent lecturer at various colleges and universities. His board service includes Thrivent Financial for Lutherans; Concordia University Chicago; St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in LaGrange, Ill.; Wheat Ridge Ministries; the Wheaton College Alumni Association Board of Directors; and the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Farney and his wife, Cheryl, have two children, Erin and Mitch. Erin graduated from Wheaton in 2012.
“Kirk Farney brings a unique blend of business acumen and scholarly engagement to this strategic role at Wheaton College,” Ryken says. “His executive and financial experience has positioned him to advance Wheaton’s mission and priorities through Advancement & Alumni Relations, and his training as a historian gives him a rich understanding of Wheaton’s unique role in the Christian and higher education communities. As a Wheaton alumnus who has also been a Wheaton parent, he has experienced firsthand how a Wheaton education transforms the lives of our students.”
“Throughout my career, I have tethered my business and academic labors to the Protestant concept of vocation,” Farney says. “I have considered it a true calling to live a life of service to others via my career engagements in commercial and investment banking, and in my academic, charitable and ecclesiastical pursuits. I am devoted to helping educators, students, and professionals embrace their own callings, as whole persons who achieve their full potential, and I’m pleased to do this now at Wheaton College.”
Farney succeeds Dr. R. Mark Dillon, who accepted a position as Executive Vice President for Mission Advancement at American Bible Society after serving at Wheaton College for 19 years. Director of Alumni and Parent Relations and Executive Director of the Wheaton College Alumni Association Cindra Stackhouse Taetzsch ’82 served in the interim.
Farney will begin on August 25.