Ben E. Hancock, Jr.
B.A., M.Ed., James Madison University; Ph.D., University of Virginia
Ben Hancock has been President of Methodist University since March 2011. He is leading the institution through a five year Strategic Plan during a period of unprecedented growth that includes a record enrollment of over 2,400 students and record student residential population of over 1,100. The recent expansion of campus has included new facilities for the nationally known Physician Assistant Program, a new Nursing Building, and new residence halls, and a new Master Plan for the University is under way. He is also placing increased emphasis on student retention, as evidenced by the creation of the Center for Student Success, and has created task forces in conjunction with a new initiative, The MU Journey, which focuses on increasing opportunities for students to be involved in experiences beyond those offered through the outstanding academic programs provided on the campus.
Prior to assuming the presidency at Methodist University, Dr. Hancock served as Vice President for University Advancement at Ball State University since 2006. He was responsible for the University's development, alumni, and advancement services offices and led the University through a successful $200 million Ball State Bold Campaign. His other accomplishments included the expansion of a national volunteer and philanthropic network and national donor base in conjunction with the Board of Trustees, Ball State University Foundation Board, Alumni Council, and National Philanthropy Council.
Dr. Hancock served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Albion College from 1989 to 2006. During his tenure at Albion, he was actively involved in strategic planning and program development. He was responsible for all advancement areas, and worked closely with the President on trustee relations. He successfully conducted the $40 million Campaign for Albion, the $75 million Campaign for the Generations, and the $140 million Liberal Arts at Work campaign.
From 1984 through 1989, he served as Executive Director of the Boise State University Foundation in Boise, Idaho. In this position he served as chief development officer and provided the staff leadership for the Foundation's Board of Directors and directed all development activities including special fund-raising campaigns, major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, and annual giving.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Studies from James Madison University in Virginia and his Masters in Education from JMU. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in comparative and international education. His dissertation was entitled, "The Role of Philanthropy in the Development of British Higher Education during the Victorian Period (1851-1919)." He continues his research and professional involvement in philanthropy and civic engagement.
Dr. Hancock has traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. In 1988 he received a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; in 1998 he received a Russell Mawby Fellowship at Oxford University; in 1999 he received a Visiting Fellowship at the Universityof Auckland, New Zealand; and from 2005-2009 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. He has also been active with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and has led and attended advancement conferences in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Travel has included trips to the Olympics in Barcelona (1992), Lillehammer (1994), Atlanta (1996), Nagano (1998), Salt Lake City (2002), Athens (2004), Torino (2006), Beijing (2008) and Vancouver (2010).
His community involvement has included serving as a Presbyterian Church elder, scout leader, Chamber of Commerce board member, Rotary Club member, Community Foundation board member, United Way campaign chair and board member, and economic development board member. He and his wife Debbie (a teacher of exceptional children) have five children: Jessie, Sarah, Ben, Matthew, and Andrew.