Southwestern Assemblies of God University welcomes back a familiar face as the new vice president for advancement.

The university announced on Thursday that alumnus Rick Bowles will assume duties and responsibilities as the department's vice president, effective Nov. 5.

Bowles has served as the Multi-Area Director (Regional CEO) for the North Texas-Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the past 11 years. During his tenure, he has overseen significant development fundraising, led and recruited executive board members and was responsible for the overseeing volunteer board members and North Texas FCA staff.

“I was honored and very excited for the opportunity to serve at my alma mater,” Bowles said. “It truly feels like I’ve come full circle. SAGU made a huge impact on my life and, as I have discovered, was a great foundation for my career. A solid Christian education, no matter what career you choose, can set you up for a very successful future.”

Bowles also effectively built relationships with professional athletes and donors — a strength he looks forward to bringing with him as he transitions into the position of SAGU Vice President for Advancement.

“Rick is very personable and capable of effectively communicating SAGU’s mission and purpose,” SAGU President Kermit Bridges said. “In his leadership at FCA, he demonstrated a unique ability to connect with major donors and friends of that ministry. Such an ability will be a great blessing in his role at SAGU.”

Bowles also served in pastoral roles in Missouri and Texas. He began his career as a youth minister, campus pastor, and education director after graduating from SAGU with his bachelor’s degree in ministry administration.

Bowles and his wife, Angel, attend Lakeshore Assemblies of God Church in Rockwall. He also serves on the advisory board for Lakeview Conference Center, which is the North Texas district campground.

Board Chairman Frank Cargill said, “The [SAGU] Executive Committee strongly approves Rick Bowles to serve in this position and has determined that he meets all the necessary requirements, as stated in the Bylaws of the University and job description.”

In addition to the appointment of Bowles, SAGU has embraced a bold fundraising initiative, entitled "The Century Campaign," to increase endowed funds within the SAGU Foundation to $100 million by 2027, which marks the 100th anniversary of the institution.

In his new role, Bowles will lead the office of University Advancement toward accomplishing the goal. Current vice president Irby McKnight will transition into a new position within the Advancement office focused on the Century Campaign.

According to the SAGU announcement, endowed funds are critical to producing scholarships to help students afford college and pursue missions and ministry assignments with a reduced average student loan debt.

Bowles stated that he looks forward to building upon the success of McKnight and is pleased to know he will remain a part of the University Advancement team.

“I have seen the success of President Bridges, Irby McNight and others and am excited to continue to build and grow on that foundation,” Bowles said. “Also, the idea of hearing from current students as well as alumni and staff and working together towards a common mission is energizing to me.

"I look forward to strategizing and casting vision, drawing from my past experiences in leadership development, fundraising, event planning and marketing to hopefully make a lasting impact. I enjoy building relationships and look forward to becoming acquainted with alumni and supporters.”