External Relations


Our mission is to serve Virginia State University through the development, cultivation, solicitation, and engagement of our philanthropic partners who provide financial support which advances the academic and student experience at the University. We strive for excellence in all that we do and represent, through ethical and professional best practices which engage all VSU stakeholders.



The Office of Institutional Advancement is comprised of six distinct departments, each with a vital function in carrying out the office’s mission and purpose.  They include Advancement Services, Alumni Relations, Annual Giving, Conference Services, Frontline Fundraising, and Marketing & Communications.  Together, the office is responsible for all of Virginia State University’s philanthropic fundraising support.

Key Objectives

  • Ethically and professionally raise philanthropic funds for VSU;
  • Provide meaningful engagement of VSU constituents;
  • Effectively communicate the accomplishments of VSU to stakeholders, investors, and constituents
  • Support the Five Focus areas of VSU:
    • Provide a transformative experience for our students
    • Strategically invest in our academic programs
    • Embrace our position as a top Land Grant University
    • Embrace our role as Virginia’s Opportunity University
    • Partner together as a University to tell our story
    • Policy on coordination of University Fundraising


  • Tonya S. Hall - Vice President for External Relations
  • Dr. Gwen Dandridge - AVP for Communications
  • Eldon Burton - AVP for Government Relations
  • Franklin H. Johnson, Jr. - Director of Alumni Relations
  • Jacqueline Smith - Director of Advancement Services
  • Chip Sawyer - Major Gift Officer
  • Yourdonus James - Executive Director of University Events
  • Adrian L. Bond - Development Office Manager

Contact Us

Box 9027
Storum Hall
1 Hayden Drive
Virginia State University, VA  23806
(804) 524-5045