Dr. Ishmell Edwards, Vice President for College Relations & Athletics Director
The Vice President/Development office is an integral part of the college which assists in meeting the institution's mission and goals. The unit specifically engages in activities that will help in obtaining the resources necessary to carry out the mission mandates. The unit also communicates with constituencies in an effort to tell the Rust College story, to keep alumni, churches and friends abreast of fund-raising activities at Rust, to cultivate new supporters, and to sustain current donors.

As the segment of the program for raising funds, the Vice President for College Relations area has the components of: alumni affairs, church relations, corporate and foundation relations, public relations and community affairs, government, planned giving, grants and contracts and gifts coordination. The mission of the office is to increase the level of public and private support required to sustain the quality and competitiveness of the College's programs. The office's  activities focus on student success; strengthening relationships with alumni and friends to build and sustain long-term relationships that will advance the reputation, visibility and support for Rust College. The area goals, objectives and projections all tie into Institutional Goals, the Rust College Strategic Plan 2009-2014 and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

Everything that is done in the area relates to sustaining the college and providing the resources and programs to retain students. The college conducts the Annual Fund and the United Negro College Fund campaigns annually. The area is constantly researching funding sources to provide annual, major, capital, special projects, scholarships, endowment building and planned gifts for meeting the financial needs of the college.

The Institutional Advancement’s Development Office is committed to expanding the financial resources available to the college for annual budgetary support as well as for long term capital development. This is implemented through the Annual Fund, Foundation and Grantseeking , Major Gifts, Planned Giving, the 1866 Giving Program, the National Development Capital Campaign, Reunion Giving and other programs.

Grants and Contracts
The Grants and Contracts Program of the Development Office actively plan, research, coordinate and evaluate activities that will promote proposal development for submission to external agencies for funding programs and projects. It also monitors all funded programs at Rust College.

Alumni Affairs
The area of Alumni Affairs continues to look at objectives and responsibilities. We have begun to take a closer look at alumni participation, attendance at events, as donors, volunteers and recruiters. It is our aim to appeal to the broadest range of alumni. We will continue to implement programs that will enhance the financial resources and recruiting effort for the college.

Church, Parent Relations
The Director of Church, Parent Relations coordinates programs for and with the College and the United Methodist Church to nurture and strengthen the connectedness of the Church institution; work to strengthen the presence of the Church in the College and the College in the Church. Rust College is a faith-based United Methodist institution and receives both financial support and students through churches. Parents would be encouraged to become involved in special campus activities and alumni clubs.

Public Relations
The overall goal of the Public Relations department is to promote the accomplishments of students, faculty/staff and the institution to the mass media.

Rust College Community Development Corporation
The Rust College Community Development Cooperation provides training and community awareness programs for the Rust College community.

Vice President for College Relations Staff

Dr. Ishmell H. Edwards
Vice President for College Relations and Director of Athletics
Ext: 4014


Ms. Lillie Bolton
Gifts Coordinator
Ext: 4019


Ms. Genevieve Conley
Softball & Cheerleaders Coach/
Administrative Assistant, Community
Development Corporation


Mr. Clencie Cotton
Director, Rust College Community Development Corporation



Mrs. Margie Green
Assistant Alumni Development
Ext: 4913


Mrs. Christine Ratcliff
Director of Grants and Contracts
Ext: 4007



Ms. JoAnn Scott
Director of Development
& Alumni Development
Ext: 4013


Ms. Dionyal Spencer
Director of Public Relations
Ext: 4017


Mrs. Naomi Thomas Taylor
Administrative Secretary – Vice President for College Relations
Ext: 4012


Dr. Charles Williams, Jr.
Associate Vice President for Institutional Research and Associate Professor of Social Science
Ext: 4009



Ms. Kimberly Woods
Admin. Assistant, PR/ Alumni Affairs
Ext: 4911