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Southwest Baptist University has named Leon C. Wirth as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. The VP for Institutional Advancement is the chief development officer for the University and advises the President on the University’s advancement efforts as well as community and donor relations. He will also serve as a member of the Executive Cabinet.
“It is one of the greatest honors of my life to join the executive cabinet of Southwest Baptist University,” said Wirth. “My four years at SBU were life-changing. I learned who I really was. I made lifelong friends in fellow students, faculty and staff. And I discovered skills and passions that have shaped my family, personal ministry, and entire career. And best of all, I met and married Michelle (Falcone) '93, my wife of nearly 30 years. Bolivar has always been special to us; we married here, Michelle's family has lived here since the late 80s, our oldest daughter Hannah (Wirth) Herup graduated from SBU in 2018, and my mom and stepdad retired to Bolivar from St. Louis in 2019. We are excited that God has called us to this exciting season at SBU, and I pray my contributions will help SBU continue to provide robust, transformational experiences like mine to generations of future Bearcats. “
Wirth previously served as the Campaign Director and Regional Director of Development for Wheaton College. Prior to serving at Wheaton College, Wirth had roles as Vice President of Education and Outreach at the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Executive Director of Family Ministries at Focus on the Family, and Director of Communications and Marketing and the Director of Member Services and Development at the Christian Booksellers Association.
Wirth earned a Master of Arts in Communication at Wheaton College in 1995 and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Public Relations from Southwest Baptist University in 1993. Wirth is also a 1993 recipient of SBU’s Life Beautiful Award, recognizing exceptional undergraduate scholarship and character.
“We are thrilled to welcome Leon Wirth, ‘93 as the new Vice President for Advancement at Southwest Baptist University,” said President Rick Melson. “With his extensive experience and passion for higher education he will be an invaluable asset to our team, and we are confident he will help take SBU to new heights and further our mission of providing a transformative education for future generations of Bearcats."
The Wirths are blessed with eight daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren. Wirth will assume his role as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement on Feb 1st, 2023. Please join us in welcoming Leon C. Wirth.