Slayton ‘back home’ as ABAC’s Chief Advancement Officer

Published 11:32 am Friday, May 31, 2024

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Staff Reports

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s new Chief Advancement Officer Bill Slayton has been on the job for only a few weeks. But in some ways, he feels like he’s
coming home.

Slayton arrives at his new position after seven years as Director of Development for three colleges at Georgia Southern University. While ABAC offers a different mission
and a smaller atmosphere, he said it suits him perfectly.

“My father was the vice president of a feed company,” said the Illinois native. “On Saturdays, I would go with him to visit his customers. He would talk to the farmers, and I
would play in the fields. So, I grew up around agriculture and have always admired that way of life. ABAC has a great history and unique mission and it’s important for us to
build upon that.”

As the Chief Advancement Officer, Slayton leads an office that has shined among its peers. Last November, the Office of College Advancement won the Overall Institutional
Excellence in Advancement Award at the Georgia Education Advancement Council conference, the highest honor a staff can achieve in Georgia.

“Bill’s experience and energy will ensure the ABAC Foundation maintains its successful record of raising funds to benefit our students,” said ABAC President Tracy Brundage.
“We’re excited to have him as a member of our team.”

“ABAC’s students and graduates are unique,” Slayton said. “They understand the impact that an education here can have on their lives and the pivotal role the college
plays. The value proposition to students speaks volumes about the college and the quality of our faculty and staff is evident.”

Prior to Georgia Southern, Slayton spent 12 years as Director of Development at the University of St. Francis before serving as Vice President and Relationship Manager for
PNC Wealth Management in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Slayton believes engaging ABAC’s faculty and staff in advancement is important because of their existing relationships with former students. He said those graduates
are often ambassadors for the college simply by enjoying their own professional success.

“Most often, when a graduate returns to campus, they aren’t looking to speak with the president or anything like that,” he said. “They want to see their favorite professors or a
staff member they became close to. Raising money for our students is really a job for all of us. As that grows, our enrollment will continue to grow and our alumni base will grow,
and so on. We have a lot of things to be proud of here.”

In the end, he said, it all comes back to students and finding ways to make an ABAC education even more affordable. Last year, over $1.1 million in scholarship money was
awarded while 59 percent of the college’s graduates left school with no college debt. Slayton is not surprised by those statistics.

“I think I have the best job in the world,” he said. “My job is to tell students’ stories. Our alumni are already passionate about ABAC and they want to make a difference.
Students may take all kinds of different routes, but they all have great stories. It’s important for us to make that connection.”