MGA Announces New Vice President For University Advancement And New Executive Director of Development & Planned Giving

Author: Sheron Smith
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2024 12:00 AM
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Macon, GA


Nancy Elizabeth White has joined Middle Georgia State University (MGA) as vice president for University Advancement, while Gibson “Kelly” Pope is the new executive director of Development and Planned Giving.

White, who also serves as executive director of the University Foundation, joins MGA after serving nearly four years as executive director of the Macon Volunteer Clinic, where she oversaw the growth in annual budgeted (philanthropic) revenues by over 18 percent. Pope most recently worked at Kennesaw State University as senior director of Planned Giving, where he developed, implemented, and managed the program for KSU donors.

As MGA’s vice president for University Advancement, White leads the philanthropic efforts of the Middle Georgia State Foundation to raise funds necessary to significantly advance the University’s mission. She also serves as the primary lead for all alumni functions. Pope will focus on increasing the amount of planned giving and major gifts to the Foundation.

“I am delighted to welcome these two accomplished individuals to lead our advancement efforts,” said MGA President Christopher Blake. “These strategic hires mark a significant step forward on our University’s path to excellence, strengthening our capacity to support the future growth that meets our region’s and state’s needs. Both will bring a fresh perspective and dynamic approach to our University advancement team.”

Prior to her role at Macon Volunteer Clinic, White was executive director of Pilot International. She has also served as an administrator with the Macon-Bibb County Health Department, director of Oncology Services at Navicent Health, now Atrium Health Navicent, and director of Senior Health and Services and Government Relations for Coliseum Health System, now Piedmont Macon. She is a former member of Macon City Council.

White holds an associate’s degree in nursing from the former Macon State College (now part of MGA), a bachelor’s degree in English from Bryan College, a master’s degree in liberal studies from Mercer University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia College & State University. The daughter of missionaries from Macon, White was born in Pakistan and spent a significant number of her childhood years there. Today she lives in Macon with her husband, Jeff White, a professor at Gordon State College. They have a grown son, John.

“I am thrilled to be joining my alma mater, Middle Georgia State University,” White said. “In fact, I credit my MGA nursing degree for launching my career.  MGA is foundational to workforce readiness throughout our region, and as an access institution it is transformative to countless lives.  The momentum of MGA is palpable, and I’m honored to be part of its talented advancement team as together we press toward even greater achievements and success.”

Prior to joining Kennesaw State, Pope was senior director of Major Gifts and Corporate Relations at Georgia Southern University. He has also served in administrative fundraising roles at the Inspiration Network, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Habitat for Humanity International. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tomlinson College and served in the U.S. Army for six years. He lives in Warner Robins and will be primarily based on MGA’s Cochran Campus. He and his wife, Latricia Pope, have two adult children, son, Kelly III, and daughter, Kaitlyn. 

“This is sort of a homecoming for me as I am from Warner Robins and a graduate of Northside High School,” Pope said. “I am excited to be part of Middle Georgia State University family and look forward to getting to know everyone in all of the different locations throughout Middle Georgia in the coming year.”