Braydon Hoover, associate vice president for advancement at Eastern Mennonite University, has been recognized by the Shenandoah Valley Business Journal as a “10 Under 40” honoree. (EMU file photo)

EMU Advancement’s Braydon Hoover named ‘10 Under 40’

Braydon Hoover, associate vice president for advancement at Eastern Mennonite University, has been recognized by the Shenandoah Valley Business Journal as a “10 Under 40” honoree

The annual awards recognize young professionals in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County areas. Hoover, who has served 11 years at EMU and volunteers with the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and the United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, joins a financial consultant, a veterinarian, chiropractor, attorney, funeral home owner and several entrepreneurs.

Braydon Hoover ’11, MA ’21, EMU’s associate vice president for advancement.

At EMU, Hoover engages with donors, alumni, parents, business owners and the broader community to match motivated givers with fundraising opportunities. He is among the leadership of a 12-member advancement team.

Hoover names community and service among his deeply rooted values. He enjoys listening to people’s stories and connecting them “to students that, like them, maybe needed that financial support when they were younger,” he says in the article.

A 2011 graduate of EMU, Hoover had planned to attend medical school. However, embarking on a full-time role immediately after graduation carried him into a different professional path with the same motivation for helping others. He also holds an MA in organizational leadership from EMU.

“I didn’t grow up thinking ‘I want to be a fundraiser!’ Nobody does. But serving EMU, making it more accessible for more students, is the most meaningful work in my life,” Hoover said.

Hoover has played a significant role in recent fundraising efforts, including contributing to record-setting growth of overall fundraising initiatives and providing strategic leadership to the University Fund, EMU’s perennial fundraising priority.  Currently, Hoover is helping to secure leadership gifts for the new track and field complex, and encourage momentum in the ongoing Forward Together Campaign. He also helped establish and now leads the annual EMU giving day each spring, LovEMU Day.

“It is so fitting for Braydon to be publicly recognized for his exemplary service and leadership in the Harrisonburg community,” said Vice President for Advancement Kirk Shisler. “This is truly an extension of Braydon’s outstanding leadership and impact as a member of EMU’s advancement team where his passion and talent for promoting the university’s mission in service to our students is most evident and appreciated by our broader campus community.”

Hoover’s passion for community is exemplified in two major leadership roles within service organizations. In 2017, he joined the board of directors at United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and currently serves as its resource development committee chair. During that time, United Way has reoriented their focus to serve the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) population, concentrating on alleviating the challenges of housing, childcare, and transportation. 

The shift towards “convening community decision-makers and partners, equitably distributing resources, and raising awareness to address our community’s most pressing challenges” has enabled United Way to move from a traditional role as “local charitable clearinghouse”  into a needed role as community consultant, Hoover said.

“We like to say that we aren’t your grandparents’ United Way,” he added.

Amanda Leech, executive director of United Way, expressed appreciation for Hoover’s dedication to the organization: “Braydon has been an outstanding board member over the last five years and has given tremendous amounts of time and his talents to further our mission and grow our local impact. He brings his exuberance and generosity to everything he does and I truly believe our community is a better place because of his presence.”

Hoover is also past president of Harrisonburg Rotary Club and a member since 2015. 

Harrisonburg Rotary Club boasts more than 20 EMU alumni as members. Several are pictured here during an April 2022 meeting with 65-year club member and EMU President Emeritus Myron Augsburger. (Photo by Derrick Chirinos)

“EMU and Rotary are natural partners as each are concerned about social justice and the wellbeing of our communities both locally and abroad,” he said. “‘Service Above Self’ is Rotary’s official motto, one definitely shared by EMU.”

In 2019, Hoover helped establish the university’s first Rotaract Club, the collegiate wing of Rotary.

“It is an absolute honor to serve alongside so many of our local leaders who recognize Rotary as a changemaker in addressing our community’s needs,” Hoover said. “We may not all be at the same place along the political, theological, or social spectrum, but we know how to roll up our sleeves to help others.”

Current club president Wayne Witmer ‘87, president and CEO of Harman Construction, praised Hoover’s leadership during the pandemic: “I am fortunate that Braydon preceded me in the president’s role. I found him to be a true professional at all times who shows a lot of emotional intelligence and strives to treat everyone with respect and consideration.”

“I’m really just grateful to be surrounded by incredible people dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of others, here at EMU, at United Way, at Rotary, and throughout our community. I derive a lot of hope from that,” Hoover said.

Join the Discussion on “EMU Advancement’s Braydon Hoover named ‘10 Under 40’

  1. Congratulations, Braydon! Your enthusiasm for EMU and the Harrisonburg Community has earned you a well-deserved award. Thank you for all you do!

  2. Congratulations, Braydon. The enthusiasm you show for your work is incredible! I am glad that I know you.

  3. Congratulations Braydon. Thanks for all the wonderful things you do for EMU. Also, continue wearing those Braydon bow-ties.

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