by William Kissane, staff writer
Dawn Medley has been appointed Vice-President for Enrollment and Marketing at Warren Wilson College. The position was newly created as Warren Wilson’s Advancement and Enrollment was divided into two cabinet-level positions. Medley works with the admissions office, financial aid and marketing, assisting potential students in the admissions process. She is also involved in organizing scholarships and helping students with handling and understanding financial aid.
“My job is to make sure that [the admissions staff] have the tools and resources they need in order to tell more potential students about the school.” Medley said. “If they aren’t able to do that, then students can’t find us or attend.”
Medley grew up on a farm in Missouri and has worked in admissions for nearly twenty years. She got her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri, master’s degree from Southeast Missouri State and is currently finishing a doctorate from Lindenwood University. She is a first generation college student and is a single adoptive mom. Her daughter started at Warren Wilson this fall as a freshman. Medley was the Director of Admissions at the University of Arkansas and then a Vice-President of Enrollment at a small private graduate school, prior to coming to Warren Wilson.
“The people, the values, and the place all spoke to me and I knew that [Warren Wilson] was where I was meant to be,” Medley said. “The people here are the most committed and dedicated with whom I have ever worked. Warren Wilson College walks the talk and I wanted to be a part of that mission-centered work life.”
A strong supporter of the Triad, Medley was inspired by Warren Wilson’s mission. However, she believes there are some areas in which the college can improve and build on. She acknowledges Warren Wilson’s leadership in the movement for sustainability but feels that the college can do more. Medley also hopes to reinforce the college’s commitment to the environment.
“I love that we are so committed to our social justice values and I’d like to see us expand our activism to change negatives in our world whenever we can find a path,” Medley said. “I would love to see Warren Wilson held up as a model for the right way to do education. We have an incredible mission and value system here that creates outstanding graduates.”
Medley will also push to expand diversity in Warren Wilson’s student body and faculty. The admission staff contacts high schools and students across the United States, but there is still a fairly low percentage of students of color at Warren Wilson.
“I think that by telling people who we are in a louder voice, we can spread our ideas and innovations to others in higher education and shape policy,” Medley said.
Medley encourages students to participate in the Hometown Owl Program. Participants visit their home high schools, neighboring high schools or community colleges over fall, winter or spring breaks to spread word of Warren Wilson. If a student arranges a visit, meets with a counselor and with students, and returns prospect cards and a business card from their contact to us in the office, admissions will provide them with a gift card as a thank you. Students who are interested in participating can stop by the admissions office to pick up a packet and sign up. Students can also email their admissions counselor for details or to partner with another student from their high school for a visit.