Advancement council

Juan A. McGruder, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement
Meharry Medical College
Nashville, Tenn.

Juan is the senior vice president for institutional advancement at Meharry Medical College. Serving as a key member of the President’s Cabinet, he is responsible for designing and executing the overall strategy for advancement. He leads Meharry’s Institutional Advancement team of 18, which includes Alumni Relations, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Development, Donor Relations and Prospect Research, Gift Management Services, and Marketing and Communications.

Most recently, he served as vice president for advancement at Oglethorpe University—leading the institution’s development efforts. Prior to joining Oglethorpe University, he was the senior vice president and chief development officer at Junior Achievement of Georgia (JA), where he managed JA’s statewide comprehensive resource development activities throughout Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, and Savannah. Prior to joining JA, he was director of development for Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology—while the Institute launched and successfully completed its historic $1.5 billion capital campaign, the largest university campaign in the State of Georgia, surpassing the goal by over $300 million. Under Juan’s leadership, the College also successfully surpassed its campaign goal of $35M, while assisting colleagues across all colleges and schools to raise over $958M in the campaign. During his thirteen-year tenure at Georgia Tech, he also served in progressive roles as associate director of development for the College of Computing and later as the first director of development for the School of Computer Science.

Higher education administrative experience also comprises tenure as the former assistant vice president for institutional advancement at Morehouse School of Medicine and serving on the Administrative Cabinet as special assistant to President Thomas W. Cole, Jr., and later as director of alumni relations at Clark Atlanta University. Prior, he served on a national level as assistant director of the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education at the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, DC—managing and providing technical assistance on multimillion-dollar grant programs for small liberal arts colleges throughout the country.

Earlier in his career, he held positions in Student Affairs at Radcliffe College, Simmons College, Western Kentucky University, University of Louisville, and Morehouse College. He also served as an instructor in General Education at Clark Atlanta University and as a teaching assistant in Organizational and Human Development at Vanderbilt University—Peabody College. Juan was also a faculty member at LaGrange College’s Philanthropy and Development Master’s Program for five years—teaching courses in Capital Campaigns Management and Strategy.

Juan completed a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Higher Education Administration and Human Development at Vanderbilt University in 1999, where his research included HBCUs and institutional advancement—a dissertation entitled: The Impact of Intuitional Collaboration on Mission, Character and Financial Stability: The Case of the Atlanta University Center. McGruder earned a master’s (Ed. M.) at Harvard University’s School of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy (APS). He holds a master’s (M.A.) in Counseling and Human Development from Clark Atlanta University, an Education Specialist (Ed. S.) in Student Affairs from Western Kentucky University, and a Certificate in Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in Britain and Europe from the University of Cambridge, England. His baccalaureate (B.A.) is in Political Science/pre-law from Clark College. He also earned the Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) international professional designation (2008).

Juan is the past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) – Greater Atlanta Chapter (500+ members), served as a member of the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) International Job Analysis Task Force and the Committee on Directorship, as a Board member of the African American Development Officers Network (AADO), and is on the Practitioner Advisory Board of The Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) at the University of Chicago. He was alsop of Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club and a is member of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2018.