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Presidential Announcement

Office of the President

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Dr. Perry Moulds Named President of Bethel University

March 4, 2024—McKenzie, TN | Bethel University’s Board of Trustees has selected Perry Moulds, Ph.D., to serve as the university’s president, effective July 1, 2024.

An experienced higher education professional, Moulds currently serves as senior assistant to the president for philanthropic initiatives at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. He previously served as Belmont’s vice president for advancement from 2014 until 2023. Moulds succeeds Walter Butler, who retired in December after leading the university for 10 years. Alumnus and former trustee Bob Watkins has served the university as interim president since Butler’s retirement.

“Thank you to the search committee, Nancy Bean and the full Board of Trustees, and Interim President Watkins for your diligence throughout the search process, and for the honor of becoming Bethel University’s next president,” Moulds said. “I am excited to arrive on campus and lead this storied institution into the future with the strong foundation provided by Dr. Butler and our predecessors. This university is vital, both to the region and to students around the globe, and I look forward to working with the entire Bethel community to further our success.”

During his Belmont tenure, Moulds led development, alumni and family engagement, advancement operations, university marketing, communications, and public relations, and he served on the senior management team overseeing comprehensive institutional leadership. Notably, he was the architect and leader of the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history, ultimately raising and investing $336 million for student, faculty and programmatic support, and increased the university’s endowment by 233 percent. He and his teams brought new events to the university, and elevated the university’s profile in local, regional and national markets. In addition, Moulds and his team partnered with other university leaders to increase enrollment by 22 percent through innovative marketing strategies, comprehensive family programming and increased support for scholarships through private philanthropy.

“We were fortunate to have a very strong pool of applicants who were anxious to lead Bethel and be a part of our mission, and we deeply appreciate each of them,” said Nancy Bean, chair of Bethel’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Moulds’s experience, vision and charisma emerged as key indicators that he is the right person to lead us into the future.”

As Bethel’s president, Moulds will work closely with the Board of Trustees and university community to shape the future of the university as its chief executive officer overseeing academic and administrative operations within the institution, including budgetary and other matters critical to university success. His responsibilities include maintaining a dedicated leadership team; liaising between faculty, staff and students, and the Board of Trust; and serving as Bethel’s key spokesperson in the community.

“I believe institutions like Bethel—dedicated to excellence in education while modeling a Christ-centered approach—are vital to developing future leaders who possess the intellectual capacity and drive to be successful, along with the strength of character to lead others and achieve greatness,” Moulds said. “Bethel has demonstrated that it is in the enviable position to excel in this regard and be a leader among Christian universities.”

Prior to his roles at Belmont, Moulds served in positions at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the University of Mississippi. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Mississippi. Moulds is a Pressnell Fellow of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) Executive Leadership Institute, an alumnus of Leadership Nashville, and is active in the Council for the Advancement and Support of Higher Education (CASE). His community involvement includes service on the boards of directors for Easter Seals of Tennessee and Girls Scouts of Tennessee; the nonprofit PENCIL, dedicated to connecting Nashville public schools with community resources; and the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation. He is also active with the Rotary Club of Nashville and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

Moulds is married to Kimberly, who holds a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Mississippi. She currently volunteers in the community in a number of roles. The Mouldses are parents to daughter Kinsley, a high school student, and a dog, Zoe.

Bethel University, located in McKenzie, Tenn., was founded in 1842 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It currently serves more than 2,800 students across its Tennessee locations in McKenzie (main), Paris and Jackson, and in its online programs. Bethel was listed among the Best Colleges in America by Money magazine in 2023. It is one of the largest local employers and provides a hub for performing arts, athletics and education for the surrounding community. Bethel University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s and master's degrees.

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