This week Northwest Nazarene University announced the appointment of Kelli Lindley as NNU’s new Vice President for External Relations, effective July 1, 2023. Lindley has been at NNU since 2000, most recently serving as NNU’s Director of Athletics for the past eight years.
“I am thrilled that Ms. Lindley has agreed to step into the role as NNU’s next Vice President for External Relations, and I am convinced that she will be extremely effective in this role,” NNU President Joel Pearsall commented. “Kelli has proven herself to be an exceptional leader in her prior roles as Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Associate Athletic Director and Athletic Director, and I believe that those roles have uniquely prepared her to serve as an NNU Vice President.”
Lindley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Washington State University in 1996 and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2000. Before her appointment as Director of Athletics at NNU, Lindley worked as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Gonzaga, an assistant professor of kinesiology, head women’s basketball coach and Associate Athletic Director for Compliance & Student Affairs at NNU.
Since beginning her role as Director of Athletics, Kelli has made a significant impact on NNU’s athletic department, realizing first-time accomplishments in the athletic competition realm, unprecedented academic honors by student-athletes and procurement of significant lead gifts for various projects. In addition, she has established strong community engagement within the Boise Valley, including the re-establishment of the Nighthawks Athletic Association.
“It has been a great privilege to serve within NNU Athletics and work alongside our exceptional coaches, staff and faculty,” Lindley stated. “I also have loved being a part of our NNU community and getting to know our amazing alumni, fan and constituency base who have proven themselves to be loyal, generous and encouraging through the highs and lows of college athletics and higher ed. I am excited to now serve in a different capacity on campus, continuing to strive to live out NNU's unique transformational mission and impacting our students in meaningful and eternal ways."
The Vice President for External Relations provides leadership in overseeing NNU’s external relations sector, which includes marketing and communications, advancement, alumni relations, community and government relations, and leadership of the Northwest Nazarene University Foundation, Inc. and its Board of Directors. Lindley steps into this new role upon the retirement of Mark Wheeler, current Vice President for External Relations.