Wilensky Joins CMU Advancement Team

Recent grad anxious to give back to alma mater


For four years, Sophie Wilensky the student poured her heart and soul into Central Methodist University. Until her graduation in May, it was hard to look around the campus and not see evidence of her efforts to make CMU a better place.

Now, Sophie Wilensky works for CMU as advancement coordinator. Yet her aim to make the university a better place for its students remains unchanged.

The position tasks Wilensky with generating financial gifts to support the university by developing and cultivating relationships with CMU alumni and friends. Building relationships is something that certainly plays to Wilensky's strength, CMU President Roger Drake noted.

"Sophie holds tremendous promise as a key member of our staff," Drake said. "She tells a very compelling and personal story of how Central has influenced her life.  Sophie represents the very best of the young people that live and learn here.

"Central has prepared Sophie to make a difference in the world; I am excited that she has chosen to make that difference here on this campus," he added.

People who have been around CMU the past four years may best know Wilensky as a member and two-year captain of its Spirit Squad, or perhaps as a columnist for its student newspaper The Collegian.

Others are familiar with her as president (2013-14) and vice president (2012-13) of CMU's chapter of ENACTUS, an international organization of student, academic and business leaders who use entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.

Wilensky also spent four years on CMU's chapter of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' (NAIA) Champions of Character council, and was a member of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, of the national communications honor society Lambda Pi Eta, and of the international honor society in social sciences Pi Gamma Mu.

Those activities didn't mean Wilensky ignored the classroom, either. She was on the Dean's List her last four semesters and was recipient of both the Outstanding ENACTUS Senior Award and the ENACTUS Leadership Award this past spring before graduating with a bachelor of science degree in communications and marketing.

"I have a dynamic love, and passion for CMU and I cannot imagine a better job for me to be doing," Wilensky said. "I can come into work every day with a smile on my face, knowing that I am making an impact.

"Creating relationships with our outstanding alumni and friends is something I am looking forward to," she added. "The people I work with are awesome, which makes life so much better."

Now the energetic young lady can turn her efforts to helping others to strengthen the university she grew to love. Wilensky can speak with first-hand knowledge of how donors can make a difference for the next generation of CMU students. As good as she knows CMU to be, there remains unmet needs that its supporters can fulfill.

"We are excited by the energy Sophie brings to the office," said her supervisor Dr. Josh Jacobs, CMU vice president for advancement and alumni relations. "Her excitement for all-things-Central is contagious and we are glad to add her to our team."

A second generation Central alumnus – her father Dr. Terry Wilensky of Plano, Texas graduated in 1965 – Wilensky is spending her first weeks on the job getting familiar with CMU policies, software, development strategies and the like. But soon she'll be ready to get on the road and start telling the CMU story to its alumni and friends.

Sophie Wilensky certainly has the background to tell it well, and to help write the next chapter in CMU history.


Posted July 15, 2014