Park University Appoints Ford as Associate Vice President for Advancement

Melissa FordAugust 16, 2023 — Melissa Ford has been appointed as the associate vice president for advancement at Park University, effective today.

In her role as AVP for advancement, Ford will be charged with developing and executing comprehensive fundraising strategies that support the University’s mission and goals. She will be responsible for planning, organizing and implementing a variety of fundraising campaigns, including capital campaigns, major gifts, planned giving and special events.

Ford joins Park University from the University of Missouri – Kansas City where she served as director of philanthropic giving for the School of Science and Engineering since 2021. Previous related work experience includes serving as the director of development for United WE and Musical Theater Heritage, both in Kansas City, Mo., director of major gifts for the Kansas City Ballet, and as a major gifts officer and donor relations manager for Girls Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri. She has also served as a campaign manager and fundraiser for the Missouri House of Representatives District 56 from 2013-15, and executive director and chief executive officer for the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Ford earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance from Oklahoma City University. She is a member of the Kansas City Ballet Guild’s Board of Directors, and she served as its president in 2022-23.



Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.