Chris Pendleton, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing & Enrollment Officer

Chris Pendleton is an Executive Vice President and the Chief Marketing & Enrollment Officer at Southern Virginia University. In this senior leadership role, Pendleton oversees marketing and enrollment efforts at the university, including stewardships for admissions, communications, creative media, public affairs, and student success.

Since Pendleton began leading the university’s marketing efforts in 2014, he has helped increase total enrollments by more than 90 percent, making Southern Virginia University one of the fastest-growing private, residential colleges anywhere. In addition to leading unprecedented growth, Pendleton’s other notable accomplishments include:

  • Launching a new University Mission Statement, Code of Conduct, and Visual Identity
  • Championing a multi-departmental implementation and adoption of Salesforce CRM
  • Leading a successful application bid for rare status as Apple Distinguished School
  • Directing a complete rebuild and redesign of the university’s main website:
  • Implementing digital content strategies to yield more than 4 million unique views annually

Pendleton graduated from Southern Virginia University in 2008 with a degree in philosophy and multiple academic honors, including Valedictorian, Barrus Scholar, Marriott Scholar, and Sum Cum Laude. He was also named an ESPN First Team Academic All-American as a member of the Knights men’s basketball team and has since been inducted into the national honors society of Phi Kappa Phi.

After his undergraduate studies, Pendleton worked at The White House in the Office of Presidential Speechwriting where he helped draft, edit, and fact-check presidential speeches and remarks. Following The White House, Pendleton worked at Webster, Chamberlain & Bean—a full-service law firm for nonprofits based in Washington, D.C.— before returning to Southern Virginia University in 2010.

Pendleton served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany. He has a master’s degree in communication from Johns Hopkins University with an emphasis in digital communication.

B.A., Southern Virginia University, 2008; M.A., The Johns Hopkins University, 2018